Break a leg; overture and beginners; and it's curtain up! As of last night, London has its first new theatre for more than 30 years, its debut season opening with Sandi Toksvig's Bully Boy.
That the two-auditorium St James Theatre should rise from the ashes of the burned-down Westminster Theatre is reason enough for a round of appreciative applause. More impressive still, in these penny-pinched times, is that the venture will have no public money to support it.
The stated aim – to create a London equivalent to New York's “Off-Broadway” – is a welcome one. And it can only be hoped that some of the creakier, more uncomfortable, West End venues might be prodded to modernise.
Best of all, artistic director David Gilmore has explicitly ruled out the hateful booking fee. If that is not worth an ovation, what is?