The Theatre Royal fire

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The Theatre Royal fire

Theatres were very prone to fire. The Georgian theatre in Bedford Circus had been gutted by fire in 1822. The rebuilt theatre on the same site was destroyed by fire in 1885.

The new Theatre Royal was begun at the top of Longbrook Street in the following year; it could seat 1700 people. In 1887 this suffered an appalling fire which was notorious throughout England. This anonymous poster print records the scene. Over 160 people died after scenery caught alight, destroying the building.

Acknowledgments: RAM Museum