London: Theatre Royal Drury Lane

Country: England, United Kingdom
City: London WC2
Location: Catherine Street

[Since 1636, a temporary playhouse was operating on the site. 1st permanent theatre on the site built 1663 by Wren or Webb, after a 1663 Royal Patent that granted the right of theatre performances. Destroyed by a fire on 25 Jan 1672. 2nd theatre built 1672 by Sir Christopher Wren. Demolished in 1791. 3rd theatre built 1794 by Henry Holland. Destroyed by a fire on 24 Feb 1809.]

Present theatre built 1811-1812 by Benjamin Dean Wyatt. Opened 10 Oct 1812 with Shakespeare's "Hamlet". 1814 and 1818 various alterations. 1820 addition of a portico by James Spiller (also attributed to Sir John Soane). 1822 auditorium alteration by Samuel Beazley. 1831 addition of a colonnad on Russel St front. 1837 interior re-decoration by Crace. 1841-1851 minor alterations. 1870 interior alteration by Marsh Nelson and Harvey. 1901 auditorium rebuilding by Philhp Pilditch. 1922 major auditorium rebuilding by Emblin Walker, Jones, and Cromie. Sionce 1926, mainly used for musical performances. 2237 seats.

Notable world premieres:

  • George G. Lord Byron: Marino Faliero, Dodge of Venice (1821)
  • Charles V. Stanford: The Canterbury Pilgrims (28 Apr 1884)
  • Claude-Michel Schönberg/Alain Boublil: Miss Saigon (20 Sep 1989)

Links: www.reallyusefultheatres.co.uk, Wikipedia, Theatres Trust

London: Theatre Royal Drury Lane Reverse Text: "Theatre Royal Drury Lane. George Shepherd. Etching coloured by hand dated 1812. 12 cm x 20 cm. H R Beard Collection TM 135"
Publisher: Victoria and Albert Museum - Theatre Museum, London
Type: Repro Postcard (late 20th c.)
Size: Modern
Not sent.

London: Theatre Royal Drury Lane Reverse Text: "Theatre Royal, Drury Lane - Founded in 1663. The present structure dates from 1812."
Publisher: Nostalgia Ink; "The West End in the 1890s" Series
Type: Repro Postcard (late 20th c.)
Size: Modern
Not sent.

London: Theatre Royal Drury Lane Front Text: "Drury Lane Theatre, London"
Publisher: E. F. A. London Theatre Series; No. 1004
Type: Divided Back
Size: Classic
Not sent.

London: Theatre Royal Drury Lane Folded Greeting Card
Front Text: "Theatre Royal Drury Lane", sign: "My Fair Lady"
Reverse Text: "The Theatre Royal Drury Lane"
Publisher: Marion Steggles Collection, available at Dress Circle
Type: Real Photo
Size: Modern
Not sent.

For another picture of this theatre, see London: "The Theatres of London".


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