It was founded in 1806 as the Sans Pareil ("Without Compare"). In 1819 it took on its present name, which came from the name of the Adelphi Buildings opposite. The present building is the fourth on the site.
An actor who performed there regularly in the latter half of the nineteenth century, William Terriss, was stabbed to death on the 16th of December 1897 as recorded on a plaque on the wall by the stage door. Outside a neighbouring pub, a sign says that the killer was one of the theatre's stage hands, but Richard Archer Prince committed the murder. It has been said that Terriss' ghost haunts the theatre. Terriss' daughter was Ellaline Terriss, a famous actress, and her husband, actor-manager Seymour Hicks managed the Adelphi for some years.
Between 1997 and April 2006 the venue was the setting for the popular musical Chicago. This production vacated the theatre on 22 April 2006, transferring to the Cambridge, to make way for Michael Grandage's new production of Lloyd Webber's Evita which started previews on the 2nd of June 2006.
Andrew Lloyd Webber's sequel to The Phantom of the Opera, Love Never Dies, opened at the Adelphi in 2010, but closed after just over a year.
- My Fair Lady (October 25, 1979 - October 31, 1981)
- D'Oyly Carte Season (November 11, 1981 - February 27, 1982)
- The American Dream Machine (October 20, 1982 - December 1, 1982)
- Marilyn (March 17, 1983 - July 30, 1983)
- Poppy (November 12, 1983 - February 4, 1984)
- Lena Horne - The Lady and Her Music (August 6, 1984 - September 29, 1984)
- Jungle Book (December 4, 1984 - January 12, 1985)
- Me and My Girl (February 12, 1985 - January 16, 1993)
- Sunset Boulevard (July 12, 1993 - January 21, 1995)
- Damn Yankees (June 4, 1997 - August 9, 1997)
- Chicago (November 19, 1997 - April 22, 2006)
- Evita (June 20, 2006 - March 26, 2007)
- Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (July 6, 2007 - )
- [http://www.emich.edu/public/english/adelphi_calendar/ The Adelphi Theatre 1806-1900: A Calendar of Performances
- seatplan.com/london/adelphi-theatre The Adelphi Theatre seating plan
- Adelphi Theatre History
- Adelphi Theatre London
- Sweeney Todd Musical