Her Majesty’s Theatre
Her Majesty’s Theatre London dates back to 1705, and was first named the Queen’s Theatre. The theatre was built as an alternative to the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane and Lincoln’s Inn. In 1714 it was renamed as the King’s Theatre following George I’s accession to the throne, and again changed to Her Majesty’s in 1837, altering with the gender of the current monarch. From 1901 until 1952 the theatre was known as His Majesty’s before being renamed to its current title, following the 1952 accession to the throne of Queen Elizabeth II. The present building was constructed in 1897 for RADA founder, Herbert Beerbohm Tree, who lived inside the building from its construction until his death in 1917. During this period, Her Majesty’s premiered plays by major playwrights such as Noel Coward and George Bernard Shaw.
The theatre was home to smash-hit musical Chu Chin Chow which was first seen in 1916 and played for five years, performing over 2,000 times to audiences. This figure was more than twice as many as any other previous musical, a record that was kept for nearly forty years. Since 1986, Her Majesty’s Theatre has been home to musical phenomenon, The Phantom of the Opera, and today continues to play to packed audiences.
Her Majesty’s Theatre is located in the heart of London, on the famous Haymarket. It is nestled between areas Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square and Leicester Square, and so there are numerous connections to the theatre. The nearest tube station to the theatre is Piccadilly Circus which is on both Piccadilly and Bakerloo lines, and just 150 metres from Her Majesty’s. The next nearest is Leicester Square on the Piccadilly and Northern lines, and 300 metres from the theatre. There are many bus connections.
The seating capacity of Her Majesty’s Theatre is fairly large, with room for 1,216 people on four levels – Stalls, Royal Circle, Grand Circle and Balcony. The Stall section is the largest in the auditorium and is located on the ground floor. Being so close to the stage, there are some excellent views in this area, but viewings can alter enormously depending on where exactly you are sitting. The next section up, on level 1 is the Royal Circle. It is further from the stage but presents good panoramic views of the whole set below, providing some of the best seats in the auditorium. Above the Royal Circle is the Grand Circle. Seats towards the front of the section are good but you may feel a little far away the further back you go. The final and highest area at Her Majesty’s is the Balcony. Seats up here mean that you will have to climb a lot of steps, and if you suffer from heights it may not be enjoyable for you as it is quite high up!