Theatre Royal Haymarket
Following a sell out season at both the National Theatre and the Adelphi this brand new comedy transfers for a new season at the Theatre Royal Haymarket. Set in Brighton during the 1960s this is a comedy of mistaken identity and secrets that will have you splitting your sides with laughter. Owain Arthur takes over the role from James Cordon in this new run.
The Theatre Royal Haymarket is situated on the historic Haymarket Road, opposite Her Majesty’s Theatre. Down the road from Leicester Square, the road leads down to Pall Mall and St James’ Gate, which marks the start of the historic Mall. Many tourist attractions surround the theatre making it the perfect venue to explore before and after the show, along with some excellent restaurants for pre and post theatre dining. As one of London’s oldest playhouses, the striking building has a grand pillared entrance that stands out from the surrounding buildings.
By Tube: The nearest station to reach the Theatre Royal Haymarket is Piccadilly Circus, on both the Bakerloo and Piccadilly lines.
By bus: Numbers 14, 19, 22, 24, 29, 38, 40 and 176 all stop close to the theatre.
By taxi or car: If you are being dropped off at the theatre by taxi the main entrance is on the Haymarket which runs parallel to Regent’s Street. There are a number of Q-Park car parks near by, which even offer half price parking to theatregoers at the Theatre Royal Haymarket. Alternatively, there are a number of National Car Parks nearby which you may be able to park in, but prices tend to be higher.
The Theatre Royal Haymarket holds almost 900 audience members divided across four levels, of which the Stalls is the lowest and closest to the stage, and the balcony is the highest. The theatre is built in a traditional style with seats on each level curving around the stage, with those at the far end of each row outside of the proscenium. The Stalls exist as one block of seats with no central aisle. They curve around the front of the stage, with the best views being towards the middle of each row. The overhang from the Royal Circle occurs towards the back of the section, meaning that the rear stalls can be partly restricted, especially if certain set elements occur towards the top of the stage. The section is moderately raked, resulting in generally good views over the whole section.
The Royal Circle and the Upper Circle are both designed in a similar way in three seating blocks; a large central block with smaller sections house right and left. Again the curve of the auditorium places some seats outside of the proscenium, giving a side on view to seats especially in the first two rows. Both sections are well raked meaning there is clear view over the audiences’ heads. Towards the rear of each section seats can become restricted due to the overhang of the section above. Aim to sit mid way back to avoid safety rails in the Upper Circle.
The Balcony section is particularly steep and should be avoided by those who do not feel comfortable with heights. The section is one block with no aisle, and so leg room can also be particularly tight. Although the view from the stage is often un-restricted, you do feel very high and far away from the action.
The Theatre Royal Haymarket is split into 4 levels; the Stalls, Royal Circle, Upper Circle and Balcony. Access into the theatre from street level requires navigating 3 steps, although alternative access is available through the side doors on the Haymarket. Once inside the main foyer there are 30 steps to the Stalls, 24 steps to the Royal Circle and more than 60 steps to the Upper Circle and Balcony. Discounted rates are available to disabled patrons.
Access for wheelchair users is via the side doors on the Haymarket, with one wheelchair space available at the back of the auditorium in the Stalls section. Transfer seating is also available to any aisle seat in the Stalls. There is an adapted toilet with level access at the back of the Stalls, and whilst the bar is inaccessible to wheelchair users it is possible for drinks to be brought to disabled guests within the auditorium.
There is an infra-red system installed within the auditorium for those with hearing impairments. Headsets can be collected from the front of house desk in the foyer for a refundable deposit of £10 each. Guide dogs are not permitted inside the auditorium during performances; however, theatre staff are available to look after any guide dogs for the duration of each show.Access bookings telephone line 020 7492 9930 or access booking form.
The Theatre Royal Haymarket is the third-oldest theatre in London, dating all the way back to 1720 when the first building, named the Little Theatre, was erected on the site by the carpenter John Potter. It was an important venue in the history of London theatre, becoming the third theatre to gain a Royal Patent in 1766 that allowed the performance of spoken word plays in addition to opera, musicals and concerts. Many seasons of successful theatre followed, interrupted only when the theatre was rebuilt in 1820 to include the six distinctive Corinthian columns that distinguish the facade to this day.
In the 19th century the Theatre Royal Haymarket saw many productions pass across its stage, including several Gilbert and Sullivan operas, the premiere of Oscar Wilde’s comedy A Woman of No Importance and J. M. Barrie’s The Little Minister. During this time the traditional pit section of the theatre was abolished in favour of stalls seating, causing a small scale riot amongst the audience! The 20th century saw the staging of a host of plays, including classical works by Congreve, Webster and Shakespeare as well as new works by John Gielgud and Ben Elton. Significant productions in recent years have included a stage adaptation of the film When Harry Met Sally, Victoria Wood’s Acorn Antiques – The Musical, and an acclaimed version of Beckett’s Waiting for Godot with Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart. The current production is the National Theatre’s One Man, Two Guvnors.