During the 1930’s the basement of 16b Jermyn Street was home to the glamorous Monseigneur Restaurant and Club. The space was converted into a theatre by Howard Jameson and Penny Horner in the early 1990s, and Jermyn Street Theatre staged its first production in August 1994.
Over the last twenty years the theatre has established itself as one of London’s leading Off-West End studio theatres. Gene David Kirk became Artistic Director in 2009. With his Associate Director Anthony Biggs he was instrumental in transforming the theatre’s creative output with a number critically acclaimed revivals of rarely performed plays including Charles Morgan’s post-war classic The River Line, the UK premiere of Ibsen’s first performed play St John’s Night with Olivier-winning actress Sarah Crowe, and another Ibsen: his rarely performed late play Little Eyolf starring Imogen Stubbs and Doreen Mantle.
Other notable successes include 70’s musical Boy Meets Boy, which was nominated for six Off-West End Awards, The Two Character Play by Tennessee Williams, Graham Greene’s The Living Room and the Ivor Novello musical Gay’s The Word. In 2012 Trevor Nunn directed the World Premiere of Samuel Beckett’s radio play All That Fall starring Eileen Atkins and Michael Gambon. The production subsequently transferred to the West End’s Arts Theatre and then to New York’s 59E59 Theatre.
Anthony Biggs became Artistic Director in 2013 and has continued the policy of staging rediscovered classic plays alongside new plays and musicals. Recent revivals include Frederick Lonsdale’s 1920’s comedy of manners On Approval, David Pinner’s 1970’s comedy The Potsdam Quartet, and R.C Sheriff’s The White Carnation. New work includes a season of Steven Berkoff’s hard-hitting one act plays entitled Religion and Anarchy and the premiere of the musical Return of the Soldier based on the First World War novel by Rebecca West. This summer Anthony produced a critically-acclaimed South African Season with sixteen productions of plays by SA writers including Athol Fugard and Reza De Wet.
Jermyn Street Theatre was nominated for the Peter Brook Empty Space Award in 2011 and won the Stage 100 Best Fringe Theatre in 2012. Jermyn Street Theatre is a registered charity and receives no public subsidy.