Theatre Royal, Drury Lane


A continuous destination for entertainment since 1663, the Theatre Royal Drury Lane is one of the world’s most renowned and historic theatre sites.

Campbell Smith and Co. alongside their parent company, Cousins Group, have had the privilege of working within this unique example of a Georgian, Grade 1 listed historic theatre interior, to restore many of elements of Benjamin Dean Wyatt’s original early 19th Century design, and the Empire style rebuild of the auditorium from the early 20th Century.

Working with Gardiner & Theobald on behalf of LW Theatres, the objective was to enhance the space and revive the building’s rich history, creating a living, working space for all – not just those coming to the theatre. The project required a dynamic, sensitive, multifaceted approach to include restoration, decorative conservation, and new specialist decorative works.

The auditorium ceiling, with its composite, historic decorative schemes underwent a series of explorative conservation cleaning trials. The goal was to devise an effective non-destructive and efficient conservation treatment methodology to reveal the original plaster ornamentation and historic gilded surfaces, and to unify the complex decorative strata with selective, specialist colour matching.

Newly installed fibrous plaster works received a high-quality, cohesive finish to integrate with the historic plaster which remained in situ. Our skilled craftspeople undertook specialist marbling techniques to create the impression of naturally sourced materials such as marbles and Porphyry.

Extensive redecoration occurred throughout the building, from front of house heritage works, to back of house corridors. Maintaining the highest of standards throughout, a wide variety of finishes and techniques were utilised from gilding, marbling, wallpaper, conservation survey and cleaning, to specialist surface paints.

To appreciate the beauty and extent of its restoration, this stunning iconic venue must be seen.

Images: Copyright. PHILIP VILE