This photograph is of the first run of the play The Whip, onstage at London’s Drury Lane Theatre in September 1909.
This hand-coloured etching of London’s Theatre Royal, Drury Lane was published on the 25th of November, 1812.
When this etching was published the building had only been opened a few weeks. This is the third theatre to have stood there, and it was opened on the tenth of October that year. It is the same building that now stands on the site.
The third theatre on London’s Drury Lane burnt to the ground on the 24th of February, 1809, after only standing for fifteen years.
The painting, circa 1809, depicts the sky on fire from Westminster Bridge as the building collapsed.
The theatre’s owner, Richard Brinsley Sheridan, was famously seen drinking a glass of wine as the building burnt. He is said to have responded to baffled onlookers: “A man may surely be allowed to take a glass of wine by his own fireside.”
The present day Theatre Royal, Drury Lane opened in 1812 and is today one of London’s most important theatres.