A meeting place between Holmes and the mysterious villains of The Sign of the Four, the Lyceum is a well known and prestigious theatre in Westminster, right off the Strand. The current Lyceum was opened in 1834 after its previous name bearer was destroyed in a fire in 1830- the previous theatre was located just across the street (Lloyd “The Lyceum Theatre, Wellington Street, London – Also known as The Theatre Royal, English Opera House / Royal Lyceum Theatre / English Opera House / Palais de Dance / Mecca Ballroom”). Since its reopening, the theatre has played host to a variety of productions. This pedigree was established during its ownership by one Henry Irving, who produced several adaptations of Shakespeare works during his tenure (starting 1878). It continued to operate through the 20th century, even surviving the Blitz, to play host to bands such as The Clash, Queen, and U2. It closed in 1986 for renovations, then reopened in 1996 to host Jesus Christ, Superstar, and, since 1999, has been the home of London’s production of The Lion King(“Lyceum Theatre London”).
The Wellington Street locale has been a centerpiece of London’s performance arts for almost two centuries, but a cursory inspection of the Old Bailey Archives would show a variety of theft and related crimes surrounding the theatre. A simple example would be the case of the theft of the pocketwatch of one Chahata Jassa, where a pickpocket by the name of James George was able to easily steal the item amid the clutter of the crowd. The theatre, being a prominent landmark, made for an easy meeting place for cases of assault and extortion, like that of John Joyce in August 1844. Simply, like any popular scene, this storied house of drama was party to plenty of it- not all on stage.
Lloyd, Arthur. “The Lyceum Theatre, Wellington Street, London – Also Known as The Theatre Royal, English Opera House / Royal Lyceum Theatre / English Opera House / Palais De Dance / Mecca Ballroom.” The Lyceum Theatre, Wellington Street, London – Also Known as The Theatre Royal, English Opera House / Royal Lyceum Theatre / English Opera House / Palais De Dance / Mecca Ballroom. Web. 9 Nov. 2014.
“Lyceum Theatre London | Lion King Tickets.” Lyceum Theatre London. Web. 9 Nov. 2014. <http://www.lyceumtheatrelondon.org/>.