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 the 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 theatre's longest run for many years but Cameron Mackintosh’s record breaking production of Miss Saigon, at ten years, is the current record holder. After Shrek the Musical followed the family spectacular Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory directed by Sam Mendes. The theatre is currently playing host to 42nd Street, broadway's biggest show brought to the West End's biggest stage.
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