Theatre impresario Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber has spent more than $3 million (£2 million) overhauling one of London's most iconic theatres after growing tired of its gaudy interior.
The Cats creator owns the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, which first opened in 1812, but decided to shut the venue after Shrek The Musical closed earlier this year (13).
He has faced a race against time to return the space to its former glory in four months before the highly-anticipated stage version of Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory previews next week (begs20May13).
Lord Webber tells the London Evening Standard, "I'm very pleased about it. It's by far the most wonderful interior of its day, not just in London but in the country.
"It was driving me crazy every time I came to the theatre. It was all red wallpaper, red carpets. It's been very quick, it was worked out like a military campaign. We knew we had a short amount of time between Shrek and Charlie."
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which has been directed by Sam Mendes, was due to debut on Friday (17May13), but has been pushed back to next Wednesday (22May13) due to "unforeseen problems" with a contractor.