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IN THE NEWS
TOUR OF THE MONTH
ON THIS DAY IN LONDON
17th July 1968 Beatle's animated film Yellow Submarine premieres in London
17th July 1965 Born today: Alex Winter, London England, actor (Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure)
17th July 1958 Peter Shaffer's Five Finger Exercise, premieres in London
17th July 1949 Born today: Mick Tucker, London, rock drummer (Sweet Harlesden)
17th July 1947 Born today: Camilla Parker-Bowles, London England, Prince Charles' wife.
17th July 1909 Born today: Hardy Amies, London England, royal dressmaker (Queen Elizabeth II)
17th July 1894 Born today: Mary Clare, London England, actress (Evil Mind, Young and Innocent)
17th July 1717 George Frideric Handel's The Water Music premiered when King George I requested a concert on a barge on the River Thames.
The Shaftesbury Theatre
The theatre that saw the cast of Hair naked first!
Location: 210 Shaftesbury Avenue, WC2H 8DP
Description: The Shaftesbury Theatre was designed for Walter and Frederick Melville by architect Bertie Crewe. It was officially opened as the New Prince's Theatre, on 26th December 1911 with The Three Musketeers.
In 1919 Gilbert and Sullivan operas, presented by the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company did well and became a regular attraction here through the 1920s.
Sherlock Holmes actor Basil Rathbone appeared here in May 1933 when he played Julian Beauclerc in a revival of Diplomacy.
On 27th September 1968, American hippie rock musical Hair opened here after a year on Broadway. The previous day the Theatres Act came into place essentially abolishing Lord Chamberlain's powers of censorship dating back to 1737. This allowed the show's famous nude scene to go ahead, pushing the boundaries of what audiences had seen on stage in the West End.
Part of the ceiling fell in on 20 July 1973, forcing the closure of the show, after 1,998 performances. A year later it was Grade II listed by English Heritage.