London Theater – A Brief History

London today teems with so many theaters at the well-renowned West End. Many talented artists who want to get their breaks and begin their acting careers seek the spotlights of the West End theaters for the promise of brilliant and shining show business careers. The London theater is where all things can begin for actors so every hopeful has his eyes on the high profile roles, the applause, and that chance to perform on these famous theatres.

I was in 1597 when an actor decided to put up his own theater and launch himself as a star. Richard Burbage established the Globe Theaters when he took over the lease of The . Theatre, which was the first ever playhouse in Shoreditch, that was put up in 1576. The Theater started the rich history of the London theater and the West End. When the lease expired, Burbage took over and launched much more ambitious efforts to push the industry and the craft. Soon enough, Burbage became a big name as a great actor and he came to be known too, as the first to play Shakespeare’s Hamlet, King Lear, as well as Othello.

In 1663, the West End legacy of artistic excellence in stage performance soared with the opening of the first London West End venue at Drury Lane. This very famous venue witnessed careers of the earliest icons – the likes of Charles Hart and Nell Gwyn. The old theatre, sadly, suffered during a fire in 1672.

Since London already had a taste for the theaters, it didn’t take much time before a new venue rose on the very same spot in 1674. The Theater Royal of Drury Lane came about and picked up after where the former theater left off. This theatre, designed by Christopher Wren managed to survive for the next 120 years. That was quite a long-standing record especially those days. Along with other theaters that sprung like the Theater Royal Covent Garden (Royal Opera House) and the Haymarket, The Theater became a catalyst in the evolution of the West End Theatre.

In 1737, a wine seller by the name of David Garrick got magnetized to the call of London’s West End at Drury Lane. He became the legendary manager of the Theater Royal and made his mark on the theater scene. He soon became famous for playing the roles of Richard III and became a very great influence in the London Theater scene in the next 20 to 30 years. The Garrick Club and the Garrick Theater are memoirs of his great contributions to theater arts in London.

Most of the beautiful buildings that house the modern theaters were built during the 19th century. The middle and upper classmen in London have somehow made theater-going an enduring fashion trend in the city. Many of the theaters started to appear along Shatesbury Avenue too, at the end of the 19th century and soon, this area became the focal point for London Theatre. Many of the buildings are still around and well maintained these days for everyone to appreciate.

Theatre-going never ceased to be a fashion statement and more and more talented actors are being born in these theaters. The London Theater scene continues to attract so many people from around the world.

Ready to learn about London theater.