On the 350th anniversary of the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, Lord Lloyd Webber and The Really Useful Theatres Group are delighted to announce the stunning restoration of the Rotunda, Royal Staircases and Grand Saloon.
Visitors to the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane will also be able to view the beauty of the world-famous statue, The Three Graces, a copy of which was bought at Christie’s by Lord Lloyd Webber for £600,000 in March this year, especially for the theatre. The exquisite marble sculpture representing the three phases of love will be permanently displayed in the Lower Rotunda.
There have been four theatre buildings on the Drury Lane site since 1653. The current building, designed by Benjamin Dean Wyatt, dates from 1812 and the royal staircases, Rotunda and Grand Saloon are unique examples of early nineteenth-century architecture.
The specialist team commissioned by Lord Lloyd Webber to undertake the restoration included architectural historian, Edward Bulmer.
All statues and pictures which were part of the original decorative scheme have been cleaned and restored revealing details not seen for years. The central window in the Grand Saloon, bricked up for many years, now lets in the daylight and the south coffee room, which had suffered the indignity of being turned into a kitchen, is once again a public room. The Theatre Royal, Drury Lane has been visited by every reigning monarch since it opened, is the only theatre with two Royal Boxes and was where the public first heard both the National Anthem and “Rule Britannia”.
Audiences arriving with golden tickets to see director Sam Mendes’ production of Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (previewing from Wednesday 22nd May) will be the first to enjoy the newly-restored theatre.