This is one of London‘s most famous theatres, a beating heart of entertainment for more than 400 years.
Generations of stars have graced the stage of the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, but time took its inevitable toll on the current Georgian building and it was in dire need of a revamp.
Last night, after a two-year renovation project costing £60million by its owner Andrew Lloyd Webber, the spectacular transformation was unveiled at a reception hosted by him and his wife Madeleine.
After a troubled time for theatres during the pandemic, Lord and Lady Lloyd-Webber hope ‘The Lane’ – as it is affectionately known – will lead the revival of the industry. A production of Disney’s Frozen The Musical is due to open next month.
Generations of stars have graced the stage of the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, but time took its inevitable toll on the current Georgian building and it was in dire need of a revamp
The revamp has restored the building to the splendour of its design by Benjamin Wyatt when it was built in 1812 as the fourth theatre on the site. No detail has been left unattended, right down to the gold leaf decor brushed on by hand.
But it has also seen the theatre re-imagined for the 21st century as an entertaining destination with new bars and restaurants to bring it to life for all.
Lord Lloyd-Webber said: ‘I believe the Lane is now one of London’s most warm and beautiful auditoriums, and the most versatile historic theatrical space anywhere in the world.’
It has also seen the theatre re-imagined for the 21st century as an entertaining destination with new bars and restaurants to bring it to life for all
Shows staged there over the years include Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! in the 1940s and My Fair Lady (1958-63) with Julie Andrews and Rex Harrison. Charles II’s mistress Nell Gwyn sold oranges at the theatre before finding fame on its stage as an actress.
Among the new treats on offer in the building is the Cecil Beaton cocktail bar serving drinks named after some of the costume designer’s subjects including Eliza Doolittle and Peter Pan.
The Rotunda has been restored preserving its most historical elements, including the King’s side and Prince’s side entrances – which were the result of a disagreement between George III and the then Prince of Wales, later George IV.
The ground floor will be open from today and the Grand Saloon is due to open later in the year offering a Regency-inspired afternoon tea.
The revamp has restored the building to the splendour of its design by Benjamin Wyatt when it was built in 1812 as the fourth theatre on the site
The ground floor will be open from today and the Grand Saloon is due to open later in the year offering a Regency-inspired afternoon tea
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