Drury Lane is one of London's oldest and most prestigious theaters, crammed with tradition -- not all of it respectable. This, the fourth theater on this site, dates from 1812; the first was built in 1663. Nell Gwynne, the rough-tongued Cockney lass who became Charles II's mistress, used to sell oranges under the long colonnade in front. Nearly every star of London theater has taken the stage here at some time. It has a wide-open repertoire but leans toward musicals, especially long-running hits. Guided tours of the backstage area and the front of the house are given most days at 10:15am, noon, 2:15, and 4:45pm. The box office is open Monday to Saturday from 10am to 8pm. Evening performances are held Monday to Saturday at 7:30pm, with matinees on Wednesday and Saturday at 2:30pm.
- © Frommer's 2013