Since its first inception, Theatre Royal Drury Lane has held many royal associations and every reigning monarch since 1812 has attended performances in the current building. In keeping with tradition, Andrew and Madeleine Lloyd Webber were delighted to host Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall at the newly restored theatre on 23rd June for a guided tour alongside Simon Thurley, Chairman of the Lloyd Webber Theatre Restoration Project.
The total restoration of Theatre Royal Drury Lane brings to life the building’s history, as well as creating a space that will see the building alive throughout the day for everyone, whether or not they are coming to see a show. During their visit, the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall were introduced to some of those instrumental to the restoration's success, including project director Dan Watkins, who managed the large team throughout the restoration. Others present included carpenter Mark Stevens, plaster worker David Wallace, artist Ian Cairnie who created the impressive grisailles around the theatre and Lily Vanilli, who consulted on the food offering across all bars and restaurants.
The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall were shown many impressive features of the restored theatre, including the entirely refashioned auditorium, new artworks across the building, and new eating and drinking spaces. They were also invited to taste the new Afternoon Tea offering alongside the historic Noel Coward sculpture on the renovated terrace. Helping to bring the theatre to the modern day, they were also shown the unique redesigned Red Coats by fashion designer Charles Jeffrey, modelled by front of house staff. Their Royal Highnesses unveiled a plaque to mark their visit, made from mahogany rescued from storm damage in Barbados and repurposed from the building’s original Front of House.
At the end of the visit, Their Royal Highnesses visited The Garden, a hidden oasis tucked away from the bustling Covent Garden. Located on Catherine Street and open every day, this relaxed new food and drink space welcomes theatre goers and passers-by to relax and unwind with a wide selection of cocktails, coffee and delicious bites on offer.
After several years of tireless restoration and refurbishment, the long-awaited opening of Theatre Royal Drury Lane takes place this August and is set to reinvent the theatre experience, establishing an inviting venue for all. You can keep up to date with our reopening plans by following us on socials or signing up to our mailing list below.