Trip Planner:   Europe  /  UK  /  England  /  London  /  Theatre Royal Drury Lane

Theatre Royal Drury Lane, London

4.4
#48 of 1,204 in Nightlife in London




The Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, commonly known as Drury Lane, is a West End theatre and Grade I listed building in Covent Garden, London, England. The building faces Catherine Street (earlier named Bridges or Brydges Street) and backs onto Drury Lane. The building is the most recent in a line of four theatres which were built at the same location, the earliest of which dated back to 1663, making it the oldest theatre site in London still in use. According to the author Peter Thomson, for its first two centuries, Drury Lane could "reasonably have claimed to be London's leading theatre". For most of that time, it was one of a handful of patent theatres, granted monopoly rights to the production of "legitimate" drama in London (meaning spoken plays, rather than opera, dance, concerts, or plays with music).


The first theatre on the site was built at the behest of Thomas Killigrew in the early 1660s, when theatres were allowed to reopen during the English Restoration. Initially known as "Theatre Royal in Bridges Street", the theatre's proprietors hired prominent actors who performed at the theatre on a regular basis, including Nell Gwyn and Charles Hart. 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. This building lasted nearly 120 years, under the leaderships of Colley Cibber, David Garrick and Richard Brinsley Sheridan, the last of whom employed Joseph Grimaldi as the theatre's resident Clown.


In 1791, under Sheridan's management, the building was demolished to make way for a larger theatre which opened in 1794. This new Drury Lane survived for 15 years before burning down in 1809. The building that stands today opened in 1812. It has been the residency of well known actors including; Edmund Kean, comedian Dan Leno, and the musical composer and performer Ivor Novello. From the Second World War, the theatre has primarily hosted long runs of musicals, including Oklahoma! (1947–1953), My Fair Lady (1958–1963), 42nd Street (1984–1989, 2017–2019) and Miss Saigon (1989–1999), the theatre's longest-running show. The theatre is owned by the composer Andrew Lloyd Webber.
Take a look at our London online tour itinerary planner to schedule your visit to Theatre Royal Drury Lane and learn about what else to see and do during your holiday.
Source
Create an itinerary including Theatre Royal Drury Lane
map
© OpenMapTiles © OpenStreetMap contributors
Theatre Royal Drury Lane Reviews
Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
1,077 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • A lovely theatre, not too big & so great for any show. But the seats are a tad uncomfortable & warn out. We watched a show & my husband was so uncomfortable due to lack of stuffing in the seat. and.....  more »
  • We thoroughly enjoyed the show and it brightened our new year! Amazing acoustics, vibrant atmosphere, friendly and helpful staff and an overall pleasure to visit.  more »
Google
  • I had a lovely time today watching Live Actually Live in Concert. The staff carried out great security checks at the entrance which is reassuring, inside is simply beautiful. The bar was reasonable priced for a theatre in London, we enjoyed our drinks on the outdoor terrace which was nice. The show itself was amazing, the orchestra was absolutely beautiful. I can't wait to come back and watch another show.
  • Traditional London theatre so not too much leg room but offering fabulous shows. I saw 42nd Street there and have watched Michael McIntyre's Saturday night show which was recorded there. It has an intimate feel although it's quite a large venue.
Places to stay near Theatre Royal Drury Lane

Plan your trip to London

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Popular things to do in London

See all ›
4.7
Duration:2 h 30 min
3.9
Duration:1 h 30 min
4.7
Duration:1 h 30 min
4.5
Duration:3 h

Historic Sites in London

See all ›
4.6
Duration:2 h 30 min
4.3
Duration:2 h
4.5
Duration:1 h 30 min
4.5
Duration:1 h

Museums in London

See all ›
4.7
Duration:2 h 30 min
4.7
Duration:3 h
4.0
Duration:2 h
4.7
Duration:2 h 30 min

Parks in London

4.7
Duration:2 h
4.8
Duration:1 h
4.8
Duration:1 h 30 min
5.0
Duration:1 h 30 min

Hidden gems in London

4.9
Duration:3 h
4.9
Duration:3 h
4.4
Duration:3 h
4.7
Duration:1 h

Nearby attractions in London

4.7
Duration:1 h
4.2
Duration:30 min
4.4
Duration:2 h
4.9
Duration:2 h 30 min
5.0
Duration:1 h 30 min
4.9
Duration:1 h 30 min
4.8
Duration:3 h
5.0
Duration:4 h