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Theatres of London


There are at present about thirty-seven London Theatres, but those named below are all that need here be considered.




Leicester Square.

Astley's Amphitheatre

6½ Bridge Road, Lambeth.

Royal Amphitheatre


Britannia Theatre

Hoxton Old Town.

Charing Cross

King William Street, Strand.

City of London

36 Norton Folgate.

Covent Garden, (Opera House)

Bow Street.

Court Theatre

Sloane Square.

Drury Lane

Brydges Street.




Leman Street, Goodman's Fields.




City Road.

Great Eastern

Whitechapel Road.


East side of Haymarket.



King's Cross

Liverpool Street, King's Cross.

Her Majesty's, (Opera House)

West side of Haymarket.


Wellington Street, Strand.


New Church Street, Lisson Grove.


Wych Street, Drury Lane.

Opera Comique



85 Whitechapel Road.




73 Oxford Street.

Prince of Wales's

4 and 5 Tottenham Street.

Queen's, (late St. Martin's Hall)


Royalty, or Soho

73 Dean Street, Soho.

Sadler's Wells

St. John's Street Road.

St. James's

23 King Street, St. James's.


204 Shoreditch, High Street.


Between 168 and 169 Strand.


124 Blackfriars Road.




135 Waterloo Road.

Theatres .—There are altogether in London a large number.  Of these the following are the principal:—Her Majesty's Theatre , on the western side of the Haymarket, is the original of the two Italian Opera Houses in London; it was built in 1790, on the site of an older theatre, burnt down in 1867, and re-built in 1869.  It is occasionally unoccupied.  The freehold of some of the boxes has been sold for as much as £8,000 each.  The Opera Season is generally from March to August; but the main attractions and the largest audiences are from May to July.  The Royal Italian Opera House , occupying the site of the former Covent Garden Theatre, was built in 1858, on the ruins of one destroyed by fire.  The building is very remarkable, both within and without.  Under the lesseeship of Mr. Gye, and the conductorship of Mr. (now Sir Michael) Costa, operas have been produced here with a completeness scarcely paralleled in Europe.  When not required for Italian Operas , the building is occupied usually by an English Opera  Company, or occasionally for miscellaneous concerts.  The Floral Hall , adjoining this theatre, is occasionally engaged for concerts.  Drury Lane Theatre , the fourth on the same site, was built in 1812; its glories live in the past, for the legitimate drama now alternates there with entertainments of a more spectacular and melodramatic character.  The Haymarket Theatre , exactly opposite Her Majesty's, was built in 1821; under Mr. Buckstone's management, comedy and farce are chiefly performed.  The Adelphi Theatre , in the Strand, near Southampton Street, was rebuilt in 1858; it has for forty years been celebrated for melodramas, and for the attractiveness of its comic actors.  The present lessee, Mr. Webster, has the merit of having introduced many improvements for the comfort of the audience.  The Lyceum Theatre , or English Opera House , at the corner of Wellington Street, Strand, was built in 1834; it was intended as an English Opera House, but its fortunes have been fluctuating, and the performances are not of a definite kind.  The Princess's Theatre , on the north side of Oxford Street, was built in 1830; after a few years of opera and miscellaneous dramas, it became the scene of Mr. Charles Kean's Shakspearian revivals, and now resembles most of the other theatres.  St. James's Theatre , in King Street, St. James's, was built for Braham, the celebrated singer; it was a losing speculation to him; and although a really beautiful theatre inside, its managerial arrangements have been very changeable of late years.  The Olympic Theatre , in Wych Street, Drury Lane, is small, but well conducted and successful.  The Strand Theatre , near the Olympic, has been remarkable for its burlesque extravaganzes.  The New Globe Theatre , Newcastle Street, Strand, and the Gaiety , 345 Strand, and lastly the Vaudeville , (for comedy, farce, and burlesque,) near the Adelphi , are all of comparatively recent erection; so are the Court Theatre , near Sloane Square; the Charing Cross Theatre , King William Street; the Queen's Theatre , Long Acre, late St. Martin's Hall ; and the Holborn Theatre .  The New Royalty , or Soho Theatre , in Dean Street, Soho, was once a private theatre, belonging to Miss Kelly, the celebrated actress.  The Prince of Wales's Theatre , in Tottenham Street, is the old Tottenham Theatre in a renovated and greatly improved condition.  Some of Mr. T. W. Robertson's best comedies have been produced here within the last few years.  Sadler's Wells , near the New River Head, was at one time remarkable for the ‘real water' displayed in melodramas.  The Marylebone Theatre , between Regent's Park and the Edgeware Road; the Grecian , in the City Road; the Britannia , at Hoxton; the City of London , in Norton Folgate; the Standard , in Shoreditch; and the Pavilion , in Whitechapel, are Theatres noticeable for the large numbers of persons accommodated, and the lowness of the prices of admission.  On the Surrey side of the Thames are Astley's Amphitheatre , in the Westminster Road, (the Circus is now removed;) the Victoria Theatre , in the Waterloo Road; and the Surrey Theatre , in Blackfriars Road.  The performances at these several theatres commence at an hour varying from half-past six (some of the minors) to half-past eight (two Opera houses) in the evening, but the most usual hour is seven; and, as a general rule, there is half-price at a later hour in the evening.  During the run of the Christmas pantomimes there are a few additional performances at two in the afternoon.  It has recently been estimated that 4,000 persons are employed at the London theatres, earning daily food for probably 12,000; and that the public spend about £350,000 at those places annually.