Drury Lane Theatre, London
This theatre has the longest continuous theatrical traditional in the UK and is one of the most important theatres in the world.
The first theatre on this site was built in 1663 and was subsequently destroyed by fire in 1672. The second theatre here was built in 1674 and was then demolished in 1791. This was followed by the third theatre which was built in 1794 but was then destroyed by fire in 1804. The fourth and current theatre was built in 1812, the shell and foyers date from this time while the portico was added in 1820 and the impressive side colonnade was added in 1831. The present auditorium dates from 1922 when it was remodelled. The huge stage is 24 metres deep and there are extensive back stage areas - well suited to the mega musicals that this theatre has become synominous with since 1925.
This theatre has virtually always presented 'legit' theatre, one exception was in 1915 when the theatre was given over to showing two films - D W Griffiths' The Birth of a Nation and Intolerance.
The list of musicals and operettas presented here include Rose Marie which opened in 1925 and run for over 2 years, Noel Coward's Cavalcade - which featured a cast and crew of 300 and over 100 extras - had a successful and profitable run of over a year. From the mid 1930s to mid 1940s the theatre became associated with the work of Ivor Novello whose Glamorous Nights, Careless Rapture, Crest of the Wave and The Dancing Years were all presented here.
Following the Second World War, the theatre enjoyed long runs with Oklahoma! (1,375 performances), Carousel, South Pacific, The King and I, My Fair Lady (2,281 performances), A Chorus Line and 42nd Street which was followed by the current production of Miss Saigon which opened 20 September 1989 and became this theatres longest running show on 19 December 1994!