1928 West End Premiere
With almost no break after the Broadway opening of Show Boat, the creative team skipped across the pond to begin production on the show’s West End premiere at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, a house to which Hammerstein would return throughout his career.
Hammerstein took the opportunity to fine tune certain aspects of the libretto, making small adjustments to the language surrounding Black workers of the newly emancipated South. Additionally, certain songs were cut or repositioned in the plot, and some scenes were dropped altogether. A new creative team gathered to open the show in London; Felix Edwardes directed the company with choreographer Mad Scheck, Joseph and Phil Harker designed the set and Irene Segalla designed costumes. Show Boat played for 350 performances in this West End debut, closing on March 2, 1929.