Two West End theatres in London are being renamed as a tribute to SIR NOEL COWARD and Ivor Novello, two of the capital's most instrumental theatrical figures.

The Albery Theatre, which staged Coward's debut play, I'LL LEAVE IT TO YOU, in 1920, is to be named after the irreverent actor and playwright, while The Strand Theatre will soon be called the Novello after the much-loved performer and composer.

The newly christened Novello venue is an equally fitting choice as the playwright lived above the theatre for 38 years.

The reinvention is being planned by stage impresario SIR CAMERON MACKINTOSH, who is also ensuring the historic sites are undergoing a much needed refurbishment - with over $10 million (GBP6 million) being invested in the two theatres.

He says, "Ivor Novello's personal connection with The Strand made him an obvious choice and I've long thought that Noel Coward deserved an honour in the West End, a place he did so much to glamorise."

23/05/2005 17:49