In 1672, the theatre caught fire and Killigrew built a larger theatre on the same plot, renamed the "Theatre Royal in Drury Lane"; it opened in 1674. Nell Gwyn made her début in 1665 and on May Day 1667 Pepys saw her outside her lodgings ‘in her smock-sleeves and bodice, looking upon one—she seemed a mighty pretty creature’. (Lord Byron was briefly on this subcommittee, from June 1815 until leaving England in April 1816. It acquired its name from the Suffolk barrister Sir Robert Drury, who built a mansion called Drury Houseon the lane around 1500.

[83] It was decorated with one of the most notable interiors produced by the specialist ornamental plasterwork company of Clark and Fenn. Drury Lane (London) takes its name from Sir Thomas Drury, who had a house there in Elizabeth I's reign. ISBN 978-0-521-46466-6.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link) Cambridge University Press. 7–46.

Theatre Royal Drury Lane history. Nine men and six women departed, all of them established professional performers, including such draws as tragedian Elizabeth Barry and comedian Anne Bracegirdle, leaving the United Company – henceforth known as the "Patent Company" – in "a very despicable condition," according to an anonymous contemporary pamphlet: The disproportion was so great at parting, that it was almost impossible, in Drury Lane, to muster up a sufficient number to take in all the parts of any play; and of them so few were tolerable, that a play must of necessity be damned, that had not extraordinary favour from the audience.

Eventually, in 1682, the King's Company merged with the Duke's. Updates? It was a fashionable street in the 17th cent. E. A. Langhans "Wren's Restoration Playhouse", Hume, Robert D. "Theatre History 1660–1800: Aims, Materials, Methodology", in, The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, OUP (1999). [79] Productions relying on spectacle became the norm at Drury Lane under the managements first of Harris, from 1879 to 1896, and then of Arthur Collins from 1896 to 1923. [70], There were those concerned that the theatre was failing in its role as one of the very few permitted to show legitimate drama. [93], Later long runs at the theatre include productions of A Chorus Line (1976–1979), 42nd Street (1984–1989), Miss Saigon (1989–1999, the theatre's longest-running show),[3] The Producers (2004–2007),[94] The Lord of the Rings (2007–2008),[95] Oliver! It is likely that the sale was at a vastly inflated price and that Colley's goal was simply to get out of debts and make a profit (see Robert Lowe in his edition of Cibber's Apology). From the Second World War, the theatre has primarily hosted long runs of musicals, including Oklahoma! [34] Additionally three rooms were provided for scripts, including a library for their storage, a separate room for copying actors' parts and a special library for the theatre's account books, ledger books and music scores. The Letters Patent also granted the two companies a shared monopoly on the public performance of legitimate drama in London; this monopoly was challenged in the 18th century by new venues and by a certain slipperiness in the definition of "legitimate drama," but remained legally in place until 1843. This made audiences difficult for actors to control, and subtle acting became almost impossible. The theatre was in need of updating by the end of the 18th century and was demolished in 1791, with the company moving temporarily to the new King's Theatre, in the Haymarket. Notable presentations in the late 20th century included Mame (1969); The Pirates of Penzance (1982); and Miss Saigon, which opened there in 1989 and continued through the late 1990s. The day after the Theatre Royal opened, Pepys attended a performance of Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher's The Humorous Lieutenant. In 1791, under Sheridan's management, the building was demolished to make way for a larger theatre which opened in 1794.

The cost of constructing the new theatre, replacing their costumes and scenery lost in the fire and competitive pressure from the rival Duke's Company contributed to its decline. In the 1880s and 1890s, the theatre hosted many of the productions of the Carl Rosa Opera Company. It reopened in 1946 with Noël Coward's Pacific 1860. The degree was detached into two pieces by utilizing the path. [5][23] In any case, the competition between the King's Company and the Duke's was good for the rebirth and development of English drama.

The building that stands today opened in 1812.

[51] Linley took up the post of Musical Director at the theatre, receiving a retainer of £500 per annum. [88], On 15 May 2013, Lloyd Webber revealed a £4 million restoration of the theatre to mark its 350th anniversary. [66], The present Theatre Royal in Drury Lane, designed by Benjamin Dean Wyatt on behalf of the committee led by Whitbread, opened on 10 October 1812 with a production of Hamlet featuring Robert Elliston in the title role. To compensate, the productions mounted in the new theatre tended more toward spectacle than the spoken word. Engraving by Matthew C. Wyatt, 1810. [98], Notable productions since 1919 have included:[99], The author Tom Ogden calls the Theatre Royal one of the world's most haunted theatres. The Theatre Royal found itself in the hands of lawyer Christopher Rich for the next 16 years.[39]. In 1688, Betterton was removed from managerial control by Alexander Davenant, son of William Davenant, the original patent holder for the Duke's Company.
The paranormal investigation programme Most Haunted investigated the theatre for Episode 10 of the first series which aired on Living TV (now known as Sky Living) on 30 July 2002. The website is provided for informational purposes only and whilst every effort is made to ensure that the information on these pages is correct, we cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions. Davenant's management (with Charles Killigrew) proved brief and disastrous, and by 1693 he was fleeing to the Canary Islands in the wake of embezzlement charges. An American, Stephen Price of New York City's Park Theatre, followed from 1826 to 1830.


Rebuilt on its present site in Drury Lane in 1674 with Sir Christopher Wren as its probable architect, the second Theatre Royal soon featured the works of William Congreve. [84] Composer and performer Ivor Novello, immensely popular in his time though little-remembered today, presented his musicals in Drury Lane from 1931 to 1939. After the death in 1615 of his great-great-grandson, another Robert Drury, the property passed ou… This affected both the King's and the Duke's companies, but most of all the King's which had no profit margin to carry them through the lean years. [3] In 1974, Monty Python recorded an album at the theatre, Live at Drury Lane. After the eleven-year-long Puritan Interregnum, which had seen the banning of pastimes regarded as frivolous, such as theatre, the English monarchy was restored to the throne with the return of Charles II in 1660. The first theatre opened in 1663. Designed by Henry Holland, it opened in 1794 and was destroyed by fire in 1809.

The Theatre Royal on Catherine Street has been home to four theatres since 1663, surviving an exciting past including numerous transformations, burnings down and disasters. [7], Performances usually began at 3 pm to take advantage of the daylight: the main floor for the audience, the pit, had no roof in order to let in the light.

[18] Experienced actors Michael Mohun (who Pepys called "the best actor in the world"[19]) and Charles Hart held out for shares and good contracts in the King's Company. Neither Davenant's nor Killigrew's sons were much better than crooks,[40] and Rich attempted to recoup their depredations of the company's resources by cost-cutting tyranny, pitting actor against actor and slashing salaries.

[24][25], The Great Plague of London struck in the summer of 1665, and the Theatre Royal, along with all other public entertainment, was shut down by order of the Crown on 5 June.

The Theatre Royal on Catherine Street has been home to four theatres since 1663, surviving an exciting past including numerous transformations, burnings down and disasters. Garrick upheld these high standards for the next 30 years. "[69] Effects for an 1829 production were produced by hydraulic apparatus that reportedly could discharge 39 tons of water. From 1674, theatregoers accessed the Drury Lane via a long ten foot wide passageway from Bridges Street. The fo… "[42] The new play is assumed to have been John Vanbrugh's The Relapse, and it turned out the success the company needed. The stage floor included grooves for wings and flats in addition to trap doors in the floor. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Which seems very risky since the premises' previous incarnations had both burned down! "Apparently the King's Company had no strong, centralized management ... Of course Killigrew would have had trouble getting Mohun's troupe to accept the kind of absolute control Davenant was able to impose upon his fledglings. A glazed dome was built over the opening, but according to one of Pepys' diary entries, the dome was not entirely effective at keeping out the elements: he and his wife were forced to leave the theatre to take refuge from a hail storm. Sheridan and his partners, Thomas Linley the elder and Doctor James Ford (court physician to King George III[49]), completed their purchase of Drury Lane two years later, and Sheridan owned it until 1809. At the very back of the stage, a wide door opened to reveal Drury Lane.

More recent productions at the theatre include the 2004 revival of The Producers, the high budget flop musical version of The Lord of the Rings in 2007, Lionel Bart's Oliver! [9] The backless green benches in the pit were in a semicircular arrangement facing the stage, according to a May 1663 letter from one Monsieur de Maonconys: "All benches of the pit, where people of rank also sit, are shaped in a semi-circle, each row higher than the next.

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