City of London Theatre


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Venue Type & Location


Site Name: City of London Theatre
Location: London
County: London (city-county)
Location Type: Town - in town at determined location


  • Address: 35-36 Norton Folgate, Bishopsgate. For a current map, Click Here. For historical maps showing the venue (in addition to the one excerpted at right), Click Here and Here.

  • Performance Space Description: Information about this venue has not yet been compiled; however, some sense of the performance space may be gleaned by following the links at right. In particular:

  • See the 'Bibliographic Sources' link for a provisional list of venue-relevant resources (both primary and secondary). Wherever possible (i.e. when the pertinent text is relatively short and/or easily condensed) this material has been transcribed, and appears beneath the appropriate bibliographic citation.

  • See the 'Events at venue' link for a listing of blackface/minstrelsy-related events that took place in this performance space (with attached bibliographic references).

    Beth Marquis

  • Events at City of London Theatre

    Event Date Venue Location Troupe
    Ballet 5 September 1846 - 5 September 1846 London, London (city-county) Black Soldier Troupe (London-City, 46)
    Dramatic 23 November 1846 - 28 November 1846 London, London (city-county) Lyon
    Dramatic 31 May 1847 - 31 May 1847 London, London (city-county) Unknown Minstrel Troupe (City of London, 47)
    Dramatic 16 August 1847 - 21 August 1847 London, London (city-county) Unknown Minstrel Troupe (City of London, 47)
    Exhibition 23 August 1847 - 28 August 1847 London, London (city-county) Bosjesmans
    Dramatic 8 May 1848 - 13 May 1848 London, London (city-county) Graham, R.E.
    Dramatic 6 June 1848 - 6 June 1848 London, London (city-county) Ethiopian Serenaders and Ohio Melodists
    Dramatic 16 August 1848 - 16 August 1848 London, London (city-county) Saville, E.F.
    Dramatic 9 October 1848 - 14 October 1848 London, London (city-county) Juba, Mr. & Mrs.
    Dramatic 18 December 1848 - 18 December 1848 London, London (city-county) Howard, Henry
    Dramatic 12 February 1849 - 17 February 1849 London, London (city-county) Green Hills Troupe (City of London, 49)
    Dramatic 8 May 1849 - 8 May 1849 London, London (city-county) Saville, E.F.
    Dramatic 13 August 1851 - 13 August 1851 London, London (city-county) Othello Troupe (City of London, 51)
    Dramatic 29 September 1851 - 29 September 1851 London, London (city-county) Carib Chief Troupe (City of London, 51)
    Dramatic 18 November 1851 - 20 November 1851 London, London (city-county) Anderson, James
    Dramatic 8 December 1851 - 8 December 1851 London, London (city-county) Anderson, James

    Bibliographic Sources

    • Arthur Lloyd Website. 05/22/2008 (
    • Black’s New Guide to London and its Environs. London: Adam and Charles Black, 1863.

      “CITY OF LONDON THEATRE, Shoreditch; principally for melodramas” (212).
    • Clarke, Henry Green. London in All Its Glory. London: H.G. Clarke & Co., 1851.

      “CITY OF LONDON THEATRE, Norton Folgate .Erected in 1837, from designs by Mr. Samuel Beazley. Lessees Mr. Johnson and Mr. Nelson Lee” (129).
    • Davis, Jim & Victor Emeljanow. Reflecting the Audience. London Theatregoing, 1840-1880. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 2001.
    • Dictionary of Victorian London Online. 07/27/2008 (

      (Under Entertainment and Recreation - Theatre and Shows - Theatres and Venues - City of London Theatre)

    • Era (London) October 5, 1851: 11.
    • Howard, Diana. London Theatres and Music Halls 1850-1950. London: The Library Association, 1970.


    • London as it is To-day. London: H.G. Clarke & Co., 1851.


      The information provided within this source is similar to that given within London in all its Glory, also published by H.G. Clarke, & Co.
    • London Theatres Website (Templeman Library, University of Kent at Canterbury). 05/22/2008 (
    • Public Record Office (now National Archives), Lord Chamberlain's Collection Unidentified News Clipping

      “City of London. – Never has the drama been desecrated and prostituted to such vile purposes, as at this worse than barn. To criticize the performances is impossible, for they are beneath its test, although we could with the greatest facility describe the plot, characters and incidents of some desperate row that nightly takes places in this classical arena; or comment on the wit, verbal and practical, of bricklayer’s labourers, Lucifer-match vendors, fish-fags, and retailers of sheep’s trotters. We could also relate the humours of gin-drinking (in the boxes), and the scenes of head-breaking resulting therefrom and criticize the vocal and instrumental performances that take place ad libitum in the pit and gallery, which are filled with old and young ragamuffins, who, for a time, forget their own concerns, and listen in dull delight to the passing scene. On arriving at the doors of the theatre – Heaven save the mark! – you are saluted by an iterant vendor of galvanic rings, surrounding by a crowd of shoeless boys and girls, who will, as he informs them, upon the purchase of a penny galvanic ring, be presented gratis with an order of [admission to the theatre]. […] By this system it may be readily imagined what a den of vice and depravity this place exhibits […]”
    • Public Record Office (now National Archives), Lord Chamberlain's Collection Unidentified News Clipping

      “City of London. – One feels the same sensation on entering this theatre as one does in an ice-house. A glance at the chilly unpopulated pit makes us shiver from top to toe. The boxes were occupied – not filled – by a few fellows in fustian coats; women in stuff gowns, and squabby urchins, whose paws had evidently been within an hour or so paddling in the kennel. The managers appear to have no decent connections; even their orders seem to be at a discount, and the better sort of folks in the classical locality of Long-alley and Finsbury-market palpably scout them. There was not so much as one good-looking, ruby-gilled butcher from that elite neigbourhood [sic] present. The house has become a dead-letter. At first, the manager conceived it [sic] policy to enter the lists with the Standard theatre when the equestrian season commenced there, and engaged three horses […] This, of course, was a failure […] Mr. E. F. Saville was next put in requisition as ‘the prop whereby to sustain the house.’ Although a meritorious actor and a deserved favourite, Mr. Saville, alone and unsupported, cannot carry on the siege, particularly against so formidable a foe as the rival establishment of Messrs. Johnson and Lee, which, from the judicious management and spirited enterprise displayed by its proprietors, is ‘gaining golden opinions from al sorts of people.’ Jack Sheppard has been attempted, but even that great and masterly production only succeeded in drawing two jacketless boys to the six-penny gallery. The house is quite deserted […].
    • Sherson, Erroll. London’s Lost Theatres of the Nineteenth Century. New York: Benjamin Blom, Inc., 1925.


    • Theatres in Victorian London Website. 05/22/2008 (
    • Timbs, John. Curiosities of London (1868). London: Longmans, Green, Reader, and Dyer, 1868.

      Gives the theatre’s capacity (in 1866) as 1400 (789)
    • University of Washington - Royal City of London Theatre Website. 09/14/2008 (