Her Majesty’s Theatre has a capacity of 1,200 people and has played host to several record-setting productions, including its current production The Phantom Of The Opera. The musical opened in 1986 and is the second longest-running musical in West End history.
Since 1705 the site where Her Majesty’s Theatre now stands has been home to four other theatres. The location of the theatre has been associated with a playhouse longer than any other theatre in London, excluding the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. The original theatre was built in 1705, under permission of Queen Anne’s royal authority, and after an additional three failed attempts to create a successful venue, the current building was constructed by the famous actor-manager Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree in 1897.
Famously, the venue exists on a site under lease of the Royal house, and so the name of the theatre changes with the gender of each British Monarch. It has therefore had an incredible four changes in name: from Queen’s Theatre in recognition of Queen Anne, to the King’s Theatre in 1714 on the accession of George I, then reverting back in acknowledgement of Queen Victoria’s, back to the King’s Theatre on the ascension of Edward VII, and finally to the renaming of Her Majesty’s Theatre in 1952 following the new reign of Elizabeth II.
The design of the current theatre company came about in 1891, when the Crown Estate wanted to redevelop the outdated theatre as part of a designed pair with the Carlton Hotel, which has since been redeveloped. The French Renaissance design they administered to the theatre is still admired today for its successful imitation of the style.