A complete guide to the Theatre Royal Drury Lane

By | Posted on 22-Aug-2018

A complete guide to the Theatre Royal Drury Lane

Soon to be home to Disney’s Frozen, find out more about the history of London’s oldest theatre, the Theatre Royal Drury Lane. Our guide is packed with information about the Theatre Royal Drury Lane and book your West End theatre tickets.

Theatre Royal, Drury Lane

Where is the Theatre Royal Drury Lane?

The Theatre Royal, Drury Lane is located on Catherine Street, London (WC2B 5JF). The nearest train station is Charing Cross.

How do I get to the Theatre Royal Drury Lane by tube?

Travelling to the Theatre Royal Drury Lane on the London Underground? The nearest tube stations are Covent Garden (Piccadilly Line), Holborn (Central/ Piccadilly Lines) Charing Cross (Northern/Bakerloo Lines) and Temple (Circle and District Lines).

What show is currently at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane?

The Theatre Royal Drury Lane will be home to the West End premiere of Frozen from April 2021.

What restaurants are near the Theatre Royal Drury Lane?

There are plenty of restaurants close to the Theatre Royal Drury Lane. Take a look at our top picks of restaurants near the Theatre Royal Drury Lane and book your table today.

RestaurantCuisineReservation Times
Boulevard BrasserieServing sophisticated French classics and gastronomical meals.12:30pm / 5:30pm / 10:00pm
Byron – Covent GardenProper hamburgers, made to a unique recipe of chuck, brisket & rib cap for maximum flavour.5:30pm
Cafe Rouge – Wellington StreetA taste of France in the heart of London’s Theatreland.1:00pm / 5:30pm
Fire and StoneA menu of ‘deliciously different pizzas’ inspired by flavours from around the world1:00pm / 6:00pm / 10:30pm
Homage Grand SalonFine dining inspired by the grand cafés of Europe.6:00pm
Maxwell’s Bar and GrillMouthwatering American classics and freakshakes.12:30pm / 5:30pm / 10:00pm
Tuttons BrasserieA delicious menu that celebrates English cuisine and the best of British produce.5:30pm / 6:00pm / 10:00pm
Wildwood Covent GardenThey offer a great selection of pizza and pasta, grills and seasonal specials.5:30pm

When was the Theatre Royal Drury Lane built?

The Theatre Royal Drury Lane standing today was built in 1812, however, this is the fourth theatre at the same location. The first theatre on the site was built in 1663 on the orders of Restoration-era dramatist and theatre manager Thomas Killigrew. The theatre cost £2,400 and was small compared with the present venue, it would likely fit in the space of the current theatre’s stage.

The venue was originally known as the Theatre Royal in Bridges Street after the road that it faced, which is now called Catherine Street. Today’s building was designed by Benjamin Wyatt and is the only theatre in London with two royal boxes in the auditorium.

No other site in Britain has a longer history of continuous theatre use than the Theatre Royal Drury Lane.

What is the seat capacity of Theatre Royal Drury Lane?

The seating capacity of the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane is 2,196 over 4 levels – Stalls, Royal Circle, Grand Circle and Balcony.

What shows have played at Theatre Royal Drury Lane?

The theatre opened with a production of The Humorous Lieutenant on 7th May 1663. Today’s version of the theatre opened on 10th October 1812 with a production of Hamlet.

Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals played in succession from 1947 starting with Oklahoma!, Carousel in 1950, South Pacific in 1951 and The King and I closed the series with a three-year run ending in 1956.

My Fair Lady played 2,281 performances at the venue from 1958, starring Julie Andrews and Rex Harrison. It wasn’t until the arrival of the toe-tapping 42nd Street in 1984 that the theatre reignited the flame for long-running shows.

The production played for 5 years and returned several years later in March 2017 to the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. The 1984 run was followed by Cameron Mackintosh’s production of Miss Saigon in 1989, which went on to become the theatre’s longest-running tenant, playing over 4000 performances, closing 10 years later in 1999.

Photo credit: Andrew Dupont (Flickr)