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“Beautiful relic of a theater in need restoration”

Theatre Royal Drury Lane
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42nd Street Theater Show in London
Ranked #90 of 1,790 things to do in London
Certificate of Excellence
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Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
Owner description: Since 1663 the Theatre Royal Drury Lane has provided entertainment for the masses and has been visited by every monarch since the Restoration.The theatre has not one, but two, royal boxes and it was here that the public first heard both the National Anthem and Rule Britannia. Previous buildings were managed by the great actor David Garrick and the famous playwright Richard Brinsley Sheridan and he current, fourth, building was opened in 1812.The theatre was renowned for its spectacular Victorian melodramas and pantomimes but since the 1920s its history has mirrored the development of the modern musical. From the original London productions of American musicals Rose Marie, The Desert Song and Show Boat, through Ivor Novello’s romantic operettas and Rodgers and Hammerstein’s groundbreaking post-war shows to The Producers and The Lord of the Rings. My Fair Lady held the record as the theatres longest run for many years but Cameron Mackintosh’s record breaking production of Miss Saigon, at ten years, is the current record holder.
Reviewed 13 May 2014 via mobile

My wife and I were in London celebrating our wedding anniversary and decided to book tickets to see Charlie and the Chocolate factory at the Theatre Royal. The theater's location is very easy to get to whether you're staying in a soho hotel or catching the tube. Our seats were located in the upper balcony that is accessed by a separate outside entrance from the main theater, and might I suggest hiring a sherpa and taking a canteen of water for the hike up these stairs. I wouldn't consider myself unfit by any means, but I was more than happy to make the turn and see the last flight of stairs at the top. If you're taking along children be sure to ask for booster seats, otherwise they'll struggle to see anything at all really with the stadium style layout. The seat cushions themselves were worn and could do with a refit to be honest. Enjoy the performance, not the venue.

This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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653 - 657 of 937 reviews

Reviewed 30 April 2014

Walking into this theatre was like stepping back into a golden age: it is beautifully decorated with every attempt to keep it looking as it was when it was built, which I think is terrific.
The view from our seats (mid stalls) was excellent and the accoustics were first class.
An added bonus was that a photograph of a distant relative of ours was hanging on the wall as she was a well-known musical theatre actress in her day. So the visit was great in two ways - one because of seeing an excellent show (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) and secondly because of the family history ties. :)

Thank Sue W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 April 2014

Paid over £250 to go see Rufus Wainwright on 6rh of April. Website said 7pm start so planned accordingly. Got to the theatre and one of the staff was holding a sign that said the show doesn't start until 8pm with the MAIN act going on at 8.50 (he didn't come on til 9). All this with a ''smile''. I complained profusely that this is false advertising...as we had to catch the last train home and would miss part of the show after having paid so much money. Had we known the actual time we could have planned ahead and accordingly. All they could say was ''this happens all the time in theatres'' and blame some production company. Really? I've been to shows all over the world, and apart from rock concerts, (and even then) have not experienced this kind of false representation and lack of time keeping! The day cost me over £300 as had to catch a taxi to make our train after paying £30 for tube tix. (Must do as my young daughter was in tears at how things had turned out and was devastated at having to leave the show she'd been given as a Christmas gift early) We had to miss part of a show we paid so much to get to/see and will work to get some refund. Watch this space....

1  Thank djp68
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 April 2014

Myself and my two adult daughters went to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory on the 5th April. The tickets were £120 each for row C, we went for my daughters birthday. Firstly, the seats aren't 'banked' so when the action was in the middle of the stage you could only see the back of the persons head in front of you. Secondly, the heat in the theatre was unbearable. Occasionally you could feel the air con coming on, but during the interval there was no air con, everyone looked very hot. As for the show, we all came away thinking that it was 'ok', it certainly doesn't live up to the hype. I definitely would not book a show at this theatre again, it is beautiful, but because of the temperature of the theatre, we couldn't wait for it to end. Disappointing!

2  Thank Linda C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 2 April 2014

A must see, the puppets are so cleaver and well done you actually think it is a real horse. Location is easy to get to, we used Holborn station and it is less busy than Covent Garden

Thank Mary F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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