Her Majesty's Theatre

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One of the London’s theatre houses is called Her Majesty's Theatre. It is situated in the City of Westminster on The Haymarket. Originally it housed opera company. It is probably best known for its repeated performances of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera and Chu Chin Chow.

The current theatre building is the fourth in row on this site. The first one, The Haymarket Opera House, was designed by Sir John Vanbrugh and opened on 9 April 1705. At first it was known as The Queen’s Theatre and then as The King’s Theatre. The building burnt down in 1789. The second building, opened two years later, was used mainly for opera performances. The building was slightly changed by John Nash and George Renton in 1816 and 1818. The theatre was renamed to Her Majesty’s Theatre, Italian Opera House when Queen Victoria ascended the throne. In 1830s and 1840s became the second most renowned ballet theatre in Europe (after Paris Opera). It played host to the heyday of the era of the romantic ballet. In 1847 the “Italian Opera House” part of the name was dropped. By the 1850s the ballet in London became declining, underlined by the fact that Her Majesty’s Theatre burnt down in 1867. The third building was built in 1872 and demolished only 20 years later, in 1892. It was again mostly opera theatre.

The last, current building of Her Majesty’s Theatre was built in 1897 by C. J. Phipps. Although some operas were performed here, it has changed its focus to the new genre, musicals. Besides abovementioned musicals Chu Chin Chow and The Phantom of the Opera the theatre housed also other famous ones with number of performances, for example Bitter Sweet, Follow the Girls, Brigadoon, Paint Your Wagon, West Side Story or Fiddler On The Roof.

The capacity of Her Majesty’s Theatre is 1,216 seats. Its name changes from Her Majesty’s Theatre to His Majesty’s Theatre if there is a male monarch.
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