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Drury Lane, street and district of London, at first a place of fine residences, among which was that of the Drury family. It was the site of the original Drury Lane Theatre, which was built by Thomas Killigrew in 1663 under a charter from Charles II and called the Theatre Royal. After burning down (1672), the theater was rebuilt (1674) with Christopher Wren as architect. It was again rebuilt (1791–94) and again burned down (1809). The present Drury Lane Theatre was changed according to the design of Benjamin Wyatt in 1812. The oldest English theater still in use, it has at various times housed everything from a circus to opera.
See Reminiscences of Michael Kelly of the King's Theatre and Theatre Royal Drury Lane (2 vol., 2d ed. 1826, repr. 1968).
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London street famed for theaters; the theatrical district. [Br. Hist.: Herbert, 1321]
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.