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Haymarket Theatre Royal

Theatre, West End Leicester Square
4 out of 5 stars
(2user reviews)
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© Susie Rea

Time Out says

This storied (and potentially haunted) venue is one of London's oldest theatres

Dating back to the eighteenth century, Theatre Royal Haymarket is London's third oldest theatre that's still in use. On the outside, its gleaming white Neoclassical facade, designed by John Nash, features six stately Corinthian columns. On the inside, things have often been rather less dignified. The theatre's riotous history includes the 'Dreadful Accident' of 1794, where 20 people were killed in a crush of audience members trying to glimpse the king. It was also the home of legendarily scurrilous 18th century actor, theatre manager and satirist Samuel Foote, whose digs at other performers regularly threatened the theatre's existence. 

Perhaps unsurprisingly, given its long and eventful history, it's also one of London's most haunted theatres. Actor Patrick Stewart is the latest person to have claimed to see the ghost of the theatre's Victorian actor-manager, John Baldwin Buckstone, who apparently hangs out in the wings, wearing tweeds, when a comedy is playing. 

Unlike its West End neighbours, Theatre Royal Haymarket offers a clutch of fresh openings each year. One of the finest proscenium arches in theatreland frames a line-up that focuses on 'proper theatre': you'll regularly get celeb-led takes on classic 20th century plays, as well as the odd production of Shakespeare or a new musical. 

 

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Address: 18 Suffolk St
London
SW1Y 4HT
Transport: Piccadilly Circus tube
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  • Musicals Until Saturday June 27 2020

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4 out of 5 stars
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