The Mall, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh 171008
The Gaiety Theatre, and a tradition of amateur theatrical remains in the stump of the once colossal edifice that was the Town Hall. The architect Henry Irwin, who built the Viceregal Lodge, designed the theatre building. In 1911, the upper portions of the building were dismantled as the structure was found to be unsafe. It was opened on the 30th of May, 1887, Queen Victoria’s Jubilee Year and its God- Father was lord Bill Beresford, who saved the Simla A.D.C.(Amateur Dramatic Club) , time and again from financial ruin. The formal inauguration of the Simla A.D.C. took place in the year 1888 and since then plays have been staged in the Gaiety with unfailing regularity.The history of ADC goes back to the times when theatre was looked upon as a major and serious source of entertainment and, therefore became a cultural necessity for the English elite. Hence, Shimla became the home of amateur theatre and the Gaiety Theatre produced the best of the plays performed in London.
Among the leading theatre personalities connected with the Shimla Amateur Dramatic Club are: Field Marshal Lord Roberts, who remained president of the Club from 1891-1892 during his tenure as Commander-in-Chief of India; Major P.H. Dnyer, a distinguished producer and actor who acted in Loyalties, Interference and Mary Rose; Lord Bill Beresford, V.C. who was the Military Secretary to Viceroy Lord Lytton, famous poet and author Rudyard Kipling, Lord Kitchner, Mrs. Deane, Major General Sir Godfrey Williams, the Chief of Scouts, Colonel Baden-Powell, and Sir Dennis Fitz Patrick, Lieut-Governor of Punjab during 1895 and many others. Notable film personalities like K.L. Saigal, Prithvi Raj Kapoor, Shashi Kapoor, Jennifer Kendall, Raj Babbar, Anupam Kher, Manohar Singh, Nasseerudin Shah, frequently performed on the stage of the Gaiety theatre.
Source : http://hpshimla.nic.in/sml_heritage.htm
Visiting hours : 11.00AM to 01.15PM and 01.45PM to 07.00PM (Monday Closed)
Guided tour every 45 minutes
Entry fee : Rs. 10/- for Indians and Rs. 25/- for foreign tourists