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 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, with a renewed focus on emerging artists, and writers from outside the UK. Recent revivals include Eugene O’Neill’s early American work The First Man, John Van Druten’s First World War drama Flowers of the Forest, and South African Reza de Wet’s supernatural tale Fever. New work includes US playwright Ruby Rae Spiegel’s exploration of teenage sexuality Dry Land, Jonathan Lewis’s anarchic comedy about young people in the education system A Level Playing Field, and Sarah Daniels’ Soldiers’s Wives starring Cath Shipton, a stage adaptation of Sarah’s acclaimed BBC Radio play about five women living on a British army base whose husbands are serving in Afghanistan.
Jermyn Street Theatre was nominated for the Peter Brook Empty Space Award in 2011 and won the Stage 100 Best Fringe Theatre in 2012.