The Other Palace started life as St James Theatre in 2012 when it was the first newly built theatre in Central London for over 30 years. It was bought by Andrew Lloyd Webber’s, Really Useful Group, in 2017 and has been re-branded and it intended as a place to develop new musicals. Bill Kenwright bought it in 2021.
The first show was “The Wild Party” which was an auspicious start . This was my review of it. The Wild Party, The Other Palace, Victoria, London. Later in the year The National Youth Music Theatre did “Sunday in the Park with George”. Other notable shows include “La Strada”, the brilliant “Eugenius!” and the Bill Kenwright produced “Heathers” and “Be More Chill”.
The complex itself, is a space containing two theatres, a restaurant upstairs and a ground floor bar. The building is glass fronted on the ground and first floor making the entrance, bar and restaurant feel bright and airy. The main theatre is relatively small, with around 300 capacity, nicely laid out, with every seat giving a good view of the stage. The studio is quite intimate, capacity around 100, it was laid out as a cabaret bar, but seating arrangements could be flexible. The cabaret tables and chairs worked perfectly for Stephen Sondheim’s “Company”, the show I saw there.
The upstairs restaurant, is modern and light. The setting is lovely. It has been re-branded as The Other Naughty Piglet, run by the people who own Naughty Piglets, in Brixton. The food is good and the menu is quirky.
The bar is set slightly lower than ground level, it catches the light well and it is a comfortable place to chat. It’s not huge, though, and does get crowded during the interval, this is a bar where it is definitely worth pre-ordering your interval drinks. The house white and house rose were both dry and good quality. They have a wide selection of gins too, recently also having had a re-brand as the “The Other Gin Palace”.
Bill Kenwright may have bought this because of the success of his two shows here. I believe that he has made a shrewd buy in this handily located theatre. It is very close to Victoria Station and right across the road from Buckingham Palace.
I love the idea of it being a place to refine new work and I wish them every success in their endeavour.