Theatre Royal, Drury Lane to reopen as part of new complex known as 'The Lane'
It was mistakenly announced earlier today that the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane's name would be shortened to 'The Lane'. This would have marked a bold new move to completely rebrand ahead of the upcoming London premiere of Disney's Frozen The Musical, which opens at the West End venue in Autumn 2020. Fans of the theatre who were upset by the news can now breathe a sigh of relief, as it was confirmed later today by the venue's owners that the historically significant theatre will actually retain its name in its entirety but will reopen as part of a new destination complex called The Lane.
Theatre Royal, Drury Lane to reopen for the October 2020 premiere of Frozen.
The venue has been closed for nearly 11 months now as a multi-million-pound refurbishment is now underway. Originally reported to cost £45 million, the 20-month-long renovation project has now been estimated to cost about £60 million. The Theatre Royal, Drury Lane will reopen as part of a new nightlife destination known as The Lane ahead of the highly-anticipated West End transfer of Frozen The Musical, which opens for previews in October 2020.
Theatre Royal, Drury Lane name will NOT change
Early reports of the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane rebranding as simply 'The Lane' caused mass confusion and even backlash amongst fans of the historic venue. However, the 'name change' has now been debunked by LW Theatres, the owners of the venue, who issued a follow-up statement for clarification:
"The destination, incorporating the new bars, restaurant and theatre, will re-open as ‘The Lane' in autumn 2020. Whilst Theatre Royal Drury Lane will still showcase world-class theatre, front of house facilities will be open to the public all day so the theatre's iconic interiors can be enjoyed by everyone and not just those headed to a show."
The auditorium will retain its full name after LW Theatres have altered their original statement, which was: "The theatre will re-open as 'The Lane' in autumn 2020."
How will the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane be different after the refurbishment?
The renovation works will mean more comfort for attendees. Originally having a capacity of 2,196 seats, the theatre's seating capacity will now be reduced by about 200 in order to provide wider seats with better visibility and more legroom. Once the project is complete, there will be the option of having an in-the-round or proscenium arch configuration.
London's Theatre, Royal Drury Lane will also feature new and improved access for patrons with limited mobility, including a brand-new street-level entrance, accessible toilets, and ramps leading up to the stalls. A new lift with a capacity of 16 passengers will also be added and will reach each level of the theatre. There will also be an addition of 20 female cubicles in the women's WCs.
What's more, the 1812 Greek Revival 'front of house' will be restored to its former glory as the cantilevered Wyatt staircases that were lost nearly 100 years ago will be newly unveiled by architects Steve Tompkins and Graham Haworth, who have spearheaded this ambitious project.
About The Theatre Royal, Drury Lane
The Theatre Royal, Drury Lane is a Grade I-listed building in Convent Garden, London owned by LW Theatres. It first opened its doors 359 years ago in 1660, making it the oldest theatre site in the UK. It was also during its founding in 1660 when the ban on female actors was lifted under a charter for Drury Lane granted by King Charles II that demanded female roles be played by actresses. The venue last underwent a building revamp in 2013 to commemorate its remarkable 350th anniversary, with the Wyatt Foyer and Grand Saloon being restored to their original Georgian style with the help of a team of period architectural experts.
Frozen The West End Musical is lurking around the corner!
Performances of Frozen The Musical will begin at the end of October 2020. London theatre tickets for Frozen at Theatre Royal, Drury Lane will go on general sale on 6 March 2020. Be sure to sign up for our mailing list to be reminded of when Frozen London musical tickets go on sale so that you can be among the first to book the best seats at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane for the show's long-awaited UK premiere!