Destroyed by fire – the fire proof theatre of Drury Lane

Author: Matt Gedge
Post Date: Wednesday 24th February 2013

“A man may surely be able to take a glass of wine by his own fireside” So reportedly said the owner of the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, Richard Brinsley Sheridan, as he watched his ‘fire proof theatre’ burn to the ground on this day, 24th February, in 1809.

Sheridan – an Irish MP – had been told of the fire while attending a debate in Parliament. By the time he had reached the theatre the fire was out of control, so he did perhaps the only thing he could in that situation. Facing financial ruin he walked into an adjacent pub, ordered a drink, and watched his fortune disappear in one truly memorable last show.

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