Today, the original New Theatre that occupies the end of Drury Lane has been revamped into a nightclub.
Drury Lane was named after the original Drury Lane in London, which, in turn, was named after Sir Robert Drury, a barrister who built his mansion at the lane. A number of theatres were built around Drury Lane, making it one of the major theatre streets in London.
In addition, the Chinese had a few names for Drury Lane, such as Sin3 Hee1tai2 in Hokkien and San Hi-Un in Cantonese. Both terms meant 'New Theatre'.
Drury Lane has been in existence since the late 19th. century, coinciding with the creation of the Bangsawan, a form of Malay theatrical performance, on Penang Island in the 1870s. Back then, Drury Lane played a similar role to its namesake in London - as the place to be to watch Bangsawan and Chinese opera performances.
Initially, the performances were staged on purpose-built opera stages. In the early 20th. century, the New Theatre replaced the older opera stages. It was often rented out to Chinese opera troupes.
Today, with its glory days as an opera venue long gone, the New Theatre has been reincarnated as a nightclub.
Penang State Government
N.28 Komtar State Assemblyman : Teh Lai Heng (Democratic Action Party)
Malaysian Federal Parliament
P.049 Tanjong Member of Parliament : Ng Wei Aik (Democratic Action Party)
- Khoo S.N., 2007. Streets of George Town, Penang. Areca Books.