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The Garrison Theatre

Garrison Theatre

London's Earliest Dramatic Performance

175 years ago on December 18th, 1839, London's earliest dramatic perfomance was staged by officers of the Garrison Theatre. 

The playbill was Bombaste Furioso and Sweethearts and Wives. 

 The Garrison Theatre was located at the southwest corner of North Street (now Queens Avenue) and Wellington Street.  

Thomas Rayner, Assistant Commissary General for the London garrison, acquired the site from Thomas Talbot.  It had been the location of a half-finished building for the New Connexion Methodists.   

In 1855, the lot passed from Thomas Rayner's hands into  those of Verschoyle Cronyn. 

By 1882, the site was used as a wood planing mill. 

On November 26th, 1895, the first public library for London opened on the site. 

On December 7th, 1940, the Active Service Club opened its doors in the former library building which was torn down in 1954 to make way for a five-storey residence for the YMCA. 

On January 4th, 1981, the entire Y complex was destroyed by fire.  The site is now occupied by London's highest building (106.7 m high), One London Place,  which opened on June 24th, 1993. 

Garrison Theatricals directed by Mark Tovey presented the play,  London Assurance in 2013 at Bishop Cronyn Memorial Church. 

The first perfomance of the play occurred in 1843.     



Garrison Theatre

Sincere thanks to Mark Tovey for giving us permission to use this image.