The Theatre Royal Haymarket is the third-oldest playhouse still in use. The venue can be dated back to 1720. In 1747, it is established that Samuel Foots acquired a lease for the site, subsequently gaining a licence to perform drama in 1766. The current structure was extensively rebuilt in 1821 with the addition of a proscenium and removal of the pit, and opened with a production of Richard Brinsley Sheridan’s The Rivals.
The venue has a capacity of 888 that is spread over the theatre’s four levels. In 1994, the theatre was closed for a £1.3 million refurbishment and reopened later that year with a production of Arcadia by the acclaimed playwright Tom Stoppard. In more recent years, Theatre Royal Haymarket has seen many well-known actors perform on its stage including Bradley Cooper, Ralph Fiennes, Ian McKellen, and Patrick Stewart.
The theatre has seen many theatrical innovations, but it is most famous for staging the first scheduled matinee performance, a custom that is now a staple part of the West End.
The current chairman of the Theatre Royal Haymarket is Arnold M Crook, and the theatre has played host to plenty of new writing and reimaginings of classic texts in recent years. Notable recent productions include The Goat, Or Who Is Sylvia? starring Damian Lewis and Sophie Okonedo, and a production of Venus In Fur starring Natalie Dormer.