Drury Lane Theatre


Drury Lane Theatre

Oldest English theatre still in use. It was built in London by Thomas Killigrew for his acting company as the Theatre Royal (1663). It burned in 1672 and was rebuilt in 1674 with Christopher Wren as architect. It prospered under such actor-managers as Colley Cibber and later under David Garrick and Richard Brinsley Sheridan. An expanded “fireproof” theatre opened in 1794 and burned in 1809. Rebuilt in 1812 with over 2,000 seats, it declined in popularity from the 1840s, but it revived in the 1880s with melodramas and spectacles and was the scene of the acting triumphs of Henry Irving and Ellen Terry. More recently it has played host to many U.S. musicals.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
For the full entry on Drury Lane Theatre, visit Britannica.com.

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