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29 Shaftesbury Avenue, London W1D 7ES
Opening in December 1888, The Lyric was the second theatre to be completed along Shaftesbury Avenue and now boasts the distinction of being the street's oldest surviving resident and the only theatre still using a manually operated hydraulic pump to open its curtain.
Originally seating 1,306 (they liked to pack 'em in back in the day) the auditorium now seats 967, who, since 2009 have been able to enjoy the Michael Jackson jukebox musical Thriller.
No ghosts are reported, but there is the slightly disturbing fact the building encompasses a house dating back to 1766, that was used as part residence, part museum and part anatomical theatre of one Dr. William Hunter. This facade can still be seen on the theatre’s Windmill Street exit, where the dressing rooms are located.
Known for hosting comedy operas (beginning with the wild successful Dorothy in 1888), it has changed up its fare over the years, with drama, tragedy and musical theatre. Notably, in 1983, the theatre housed the premiere of Willy Russell's Blood Brothers for six months where it won Best New Musical and Best Actress in Musical at that year’s Olivier Awards for Barbara Dickinson.
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