Our views about nineteenth-century London theatre audiences are often dominated by essentialist descriptions via which subjective impressions have been transmuted into received orthodoxy. In this article, with reference to topography, demography (based on the 1841–1861 censuses), police reports, and patterns of urban transportation, we are attempting to counter some of these received orthodoxies, using as our model a re-evaluation of what is meant by a “transpontine” or “Surrey-side” audience with reference to the Coburg (Victoria) and Surrey Theatres. However tentative the results, we believe that speculative questions about audience composition and reception only become meaningful when such evidence has been addressed.