Her Majesty's Theatre London, London

4.4
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Her Majesty's Theatre is a West End theatre situated on Haymarket in the City of Westminster, London. The present building was designed by Charles J. Phipps and was constructed in 1897 for actor-manager Herbert Beerbohm Tree, who established the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art at the theatre. In the early decades of the 20th century, Tree produced spectacular productions of Shakespeare and other classical works, and the theatre hosted premieres by major playwrights such as George Bernard Shaw, J. M. Synge, Noël Coward and J. B. Priestley. Since the First World War, the wide stage has made the theatre suitable for large-scale musical productions, and the theatre has accordingly specialised in hosting musicals. The theatre has been home to record-setting musical theatre runs, notably the First World War sensation Chu Chin Chow and the current production, Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera, which has played continuously at Her Majesty's since 1986.


The theatre was established by architect and playwright John Vanbrugh, in 1705, as the Queen's Theatre. Legitimate drama unaccompanied by music was prohibited by law in all but the two London patent theatres, and so this theatre quickly became an opera house. Between 1711 and 1739, more than 25 operas by George Frideric Handel premiered here. Joseph Haydn’s series of concerts in London took place here in the 1790s. In the early 19th century, the theatre hosted the opera company that was to move to the Theatre Royal, Covent Garden, in 1847, and presented the first London performances of Mozart's La clemenza di Tito, Così fan tutte and Don Giovanni. It also hosted the Ballet of her Majesty's Theatre in the mid-19th century, before returning to hosting the London premieres of such operas as Bizet's Carmen and Wagner's Ring Cycle.


The name of the theatre changes with the sex of the monarch. It first became the King's Theatre in 1714 on the accession of George I. It was renamed Her Majesty's Theatre in 1837. Most recently, the theatre was known as His Majesty's Theatre from 1901 to 1952, and it became Her Majesty's on the accession of Elizabeth II. The theatre's capacity is 1,216 seats, and the building was Grade II* listed by English Heritage in 1970. LW Theatres has owned the building since 2000. The land beneath it is on a long-term lease from the Crown Estate.
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Her Majesty's Theatre London Reviews
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1,136 reviews
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4.6
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  • We've seen Phantom of the Opera many times - In London, New York, Washington, DC, Dallas, etc., but this experience was probably the most uncomfortable and had the most disruptive audience. The...  more »
  • Wrote to the theatre after an unpleasant experience and the response received was half hearted copy and paste from google job. I've emailed them twice since asking to escalate the matter further to.....  more »
Google
  • I went to see Phantom of the Opera. The show was incredible! The cast and orchestra were fantastic!! The theatre seating is cramped, which other reviewers have mentioned already. When purchasing my ticket online I noticed that a large number of the seats have an obstructed view. I have been in other theatres around London and not many of them have as many seats with obstructed views. I suppose the age of the theatre has a lot to do with that? I booked my ticket very last minute so the only seats available at the time were at the back of the balcony, which I usually didn’t mind but in this theatre you get what you pay for. I did a lot of leaning forward and bobbing and weaving to follow the cast around the stage because the stage was only partially visible between railings and over people’s heads. From what other reviewers have said it seems like the middle section of the front rows in each tier have the best views of the stage. On the day I went, most of the staff seemed a bit grumpy. Maybe it was just a bad day since other reviewers rated the service highly so I will them give the benefit of the doubt. My reason therefore for not giving 5 stars is because I don’t think I will rush to attend another show in this theatre, simply because I enjoy sitting in a higher tier but I am concerned that if I don’t manage to get a forward row position here then I won’t have a good view of the stage again.
  • If you're going here then the chances are you're going to see Phantom. It's an incredible show and very much worth watching! I've been around 8 times now in less than 6 years! The theatre itself is pretty standard for the West End. Expensive and a lack of toilets, but I'd all in good condition. My advice for seats us to search for seat reviews first. It's an old theatre and many seats have a poor view to be honest. If you search first you won't be disappointed. Also, book directly through the booking office. I've never found a cheaper ticket elsewhere!

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