theatre, film & tv past and present 2001-2008 & 2013…
Covent Garden Theatre 1808 prior to the fire
Image courtesy of the Museum of London
The first theatre on the site opened as the Theatre Royal, Covent Garden on the 7th of December 1732 with the first play performed being that of William Congreve’s ‘ The Way of the World’. Over the next sixty years or so there were various alterations to it.
As altered prior to opening on 15th September 1794
Courtesy of British Museum
In the early hours of the 20th of September 1808 a fire broke out and the theatre was razed to the ground, taking with it Handel’s own organ and many of his manuscripts. The fire raged so fiercely it almost took with it other buildings including Drury Lane Theatre, but that one was to survive for a further year before it suffered the same fate.
Fires were a relatively common occurrence in theatres at…
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