Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Theatre Royal, Drury Lane Loves 'Oliver' - The Venue

Along with the London Palladium and Apollo Victoria, the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane is one of the largest West End theatres. The theatre has a seating capacity of over 2,100 on four levels (stalls, grand circle, upper circle and balcony). This means if you hold a balcony ticket your seat is on the fourth level. Balcony ticket holders also enter the theatre from a side entrance. This dates back to the class system when the theatre was constructed to keep the classes separate.

Four different theatres going back to 1662 have sat on this site. The present theatre opened in 1812. Gas lighting, a portico and colonnade were added later. 

Like other theaters, Drury Lane has its own resident ghosts. One is an 18th century gentleman in a long grey cloak, riding boots, sword and three-cornered hat who walks through one wall of the upper circle and disappears on the other side. But he only makes his appearance at matinees and when the house is full. He is thought to have some connection with the skeleton found bricked up in one of the walls with a dagger in his ribs.

Patrons entering the stalls foyer can look up to the upper level foyer.
The theatre is located in the heart of Covent Garden near lots of restaurants and shops. Among past productions featured here are the musicals ‘The Producers’, ‘Lord of the Rings’ and most famously ‘Miss Saigon’ which made its world premiere here in 1989 until closing in 1999.


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