Now showing at the Her Majesty's Theatre
Her Majesty's Theatre history
From the outside
Her Majesty’s Theatre presents a suitably majestic, ornate and very impressive frontage to Haymarket, with its fancy pillars and creamy stone lit up to impress. Inside it’s decorated in peach and gold, and includes the famous chandelier first fitted there for Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber’s all time smash musical hit, Phantom of the Opera.
Her Majesty’s Theatre architecture and history
There was once an older theatre on the site of Her Majesty’s, established by playwright John Vanbrugh in 1705 and called the Queen's Theatre. Despite the apparently dreadful acoustics, the original building hosted more than 25 operas by Handel between 1711 and 1739 as well as numerous masterpieces by Bach.
It became the King's Theatre in 1714, when George First came to the throne, and was re-named Her Majesty's in 1837. Re-named yet again as His Majesty's Theatre between 1901 to 1952, when Elizabeth 2nd came to the throne it became the Her Majesty's again… this time for good!
After a fire destroyed its predecessor, the theatre re-opened to present London opera premieres from Mozart, Rossini, Bellini, Verdi and Beethoven, giving it the nick name The Italian Opera House and making it a prime destination for the celebrities of the day. Then there was yet another fire… and yet another new building, which premiered the opera Carmen in 1878.
With its previous incarnation eventually demolished in the 1890s, the current Her Majesty's Theatre was designed by Charles J. Phipps, built in 1897 for the famous actor-manager Herbert Beerbohm Tree, the founder of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art at the theatre which had its home there in the early 1900s. Mr Tree created a run of spectacular Shakespeare plays and classical works, hosting premieres by theatre greats George Bernard Shaw, J. M. Synge, Noel Coward and J. B. Priestley.
Since World War One Her Majesty’s Theatre has hosted any number of large-scale musicals and specialises in lavish musicals to this day because of its especially wide stage. The World War I stage sensation Chu Chin Chow broke box office records, as has Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera, which has played continuously there since 1986.
Grade 2 listed in 1970, it has been owned by Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber’s company, the Really Useful Group, has owned the building since 2000 and the land it sits on is leased long term by the Queen’s Estate.
Hauntings at Her Majesty’ Theatre
The current home of The Phantom of the Opera Her Majesty’s is reputably haunted by Sir Beerbohm-Tree, who has been seen by actors and audience members alike hanging around his favourite box, to the right of the stage.
Past shows at Her Majesty’s Theatre
All time classic musical show West Side Story enjoyed 1000 performances at Her Majesty’s Theatre, and Fiddler on the Roof managed an impressive two thousand performances.
Her Majesty’s Theatre access
Her Majesty’s provides wheelchair and scooter access.
Her Majesty’s Theatre tickets
We’re a popular destination for a wide variety of seat types and prices, with excellent availability on the full range of Her Majesty’s Theatre tickets.
Her Majesty's Theatre
57 Haymarket, London, SW1Y 4QL
- Air cooled
- Disabled toilets
- Infrared hearing loop
- Member of Q-Park scheme
- Wheelchair/scooter access
- Capacity: 1200
- Year built: 1897