London Theatre Theatre Royal Drury Lane
Catherine Street, W.C.2
Theatre Royal Drury Lane
confusingly enough this theatre is not to be found in Drury Lane, but in Catherine Street off the Aldwych. You would be surprised how many times people walk the length of Drury Lane looking for it. There has been a theatre on this site since 1663 with the first catching on fire nine years later. It is said that the second one was built by Sir Christopher Wren in 1674 although I very much doubt that this was the case. It was demolished in 1791.
The third theatre on this site (1794) was said to be fire proof, and just like the Titanic that was supposed to be unsinkable, the theatre caught fire after only nine years. The present theatre dates from 1812 making it the oldest continued theatre site in London. For on this same spot Nell Gwyn stood beneath the colonnade selling her oranges before Charles II made her his mistress. This theatre was also the first to perform pantomime, brought to this theatre by Augustus Harris with appearances by Joseph Grimaldi the worlds greatest clown , with some of the production cost in today’s terms of three million pounds.
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