Since 1705 there have been four theatres on the site where His Majesty’s Theatre now stands. Excluding the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, this site has been associated with a playhouse longer than any other theatre in London. The original theatre situated there was built in 1705. The current building was built by the famous Actor-Manager Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree and was opened in 1897. The venue currently seats over 1,200 people.
The name of the theatre changes with the sex of the British Monarch. It became the King’s Theatre in 1714 on the accession of George I and was then renamed Her Majesty’s Theatre in 1837. The theatre last changed its name in 1952 following Elizabeth II’s accession to the throne following the death of her father George VI.
The original design of the current theatre company came about as the Crown Estate which owns the site, then known as The Commissioners of Woods, Forests and Land Venues, wanted to redevelop the outdated theatre. It was designed as part of a pair with the Carlton Hotel, which has since been redeveloped.
The French Renaissance design of the theatre is much admired today for its successful imitation of the style. The theatre has played host to several record-setting productions including its current occupant The Phantom Of The Opera. The musical opened in 1986 and is the second longest-running musical in West End history.