Sunday, 1 June 2008

Victoria Palace Theatre, Victoria Street SW1

This is no ordinary dancer poised perpetually on points on the dome of the Victoria Palace Theatre - it is the immortal Pavlova, who made her London debut there.
The original statue was made in 1911, a year after the theatre had been rebuilt by Frank Matcham for the impressario Alfred Butt. Unfortunately the great prima ballerina was extremely superstitious and refused to look at it, drawing the blinds on her car window every time she passed the place. Lucky she wasn't driving, really.
The original statue was removed in 1939 for safe keeping during the Blitz, but unfortunately disappeared. Presumably it was melted down to make Spitfires, or perhaps it is ornamenting someone's garden to this day.
In 2006 this replica was put in place, a charming addition to the skyline.

1 comment:

Philip Wilkinson said...

Excellent: I didn't know it was Pavlova. Frank Matcham was a fine theatre architect, by the way – I always look out for his work. Thanks for a fine blog: I'll give you a link on my English Buildings blog.