London’s West End theatre continues to draw playgoers from all over the world, but its development to that happy position cannot be properly understood without reference to Charles Wyndham and the Alberys. Now, for the first time, the Albery family archives have been opened to a writer, in the form of Wendy Trewin, and she has made admirable use of those papers and other sources to give an illuminating portrayal of the scene over the past century, as reflected by the Wyndham/Albery story. Sir Charles Wyndham, as he became in 1902, served as a surgeon in the field during the American Civil War, before making a name for himself as actor (his supreme forte was comedy), manager and proprietor in the London theatre. In his later years he married James Albery’s widow, Mary Moore, that talented actress and saviour of the family’s fortuned by her amazing management, who lived on until 1931. Two of the most renowned theatres in the West End are Wyndham’s and the Albery (recently renamed the Noel Coward), yet how many playgoers know anything about the bearers of those names, despite their incomparable contribution to the evolution of the London stage?