TDrasnin • Link
Theatre Royal Drury Lane was not opened until 1663.
The most historic and oldest of all theatres in London, the Theatre Royal stands on the oldest site in the world to have been continually used as a playhouse. The present theatre is the fourth on the site. The first theatre built in 1663 and burnt in 1672 was the venue for Nell Gwynn's stage debut. King Charles II took Nell as his mistress after falling in love with her at first sight during a performance in 1665. Designed by Christopher Wren, a new theatre holding 2000 patrons opened in 1674. However, mainly through a lack of finance this building quickly showed serious signs of neglect and in 1794 was replaced by a third theatre with a capacity of 3,611, but it too succumbed to fire in 1809. The theatre that stands on the site today was opened in 1812 with money raised in part by Lord Byron and Whitbread and since then has witnessed many notable performances and events. Not least being 'The Man in Grey', the theatre's ghost dressed in long riding cloak, boots and three-cornered hat, said to haunt the Upper Circle, particularly during matinees. On either side of the 19th century grand staircase are two doors indicating the King's side and the Prince's side. These, it is claimed, refer to an incident when George III boxed the ears of his miscreant son the Prince Regent.
Emilio • Link
Here's a link to a site with extensive info about Restoration theatres, including a reconstructed design of the Theatre Royal. If you follow the link to the home page, you can find further information on playwrights, companies, critics, and more:
The theatre was located between Bridges Street and Drury Lane. The page above identifies the original 1663 theatre as the Theatre Royal, Bridges Street; its "Theatre Royal, Drury Lane" is the souped-up 1674 version.
Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.