Phantom or Les Mis
Check out the video we’ve made with musical star and former resident of both Queen’s and Her Majesty’s - Celinde Schoenmaker
Her Majesties Vs. Queens Theatre
Phantom of the Opera and Les Misérables: The world’s two longest running musicals and they are constantly being compared. There’s even a Phantom/Les Mis football match every year to raise money for charity. Both sides have won equally over the past few years, and over the last 5 years they’ve raised over 100K for Macmillan Cancer.
So let’s take a look, and a little comparison, of the buildings which host these multi-award winning shows.
HER MAJESTY’S – Haymarket.
1,216 seats – Stalls, Royal Circle, Grand Circle, Balcony – 130 cast, crew and orchestra members
1705 – first theatre was built and used as an opera house (there have been 4 replacements built since). The current theatre opened on 28th April 1897.
Grade II* listed (sitting with the likes of Battersea Power Station and The Coliseum)
The name of the theatre changes with the sex of the monarch
There has been 2 fires and 1 demolishment since 1705.
Owned by Really Useful Theatres (founded by Andrew Lloyd Webber) since 2005
The land beneath the theatre is on a long-term lease from the Crown Estate.
Phantom of the Opera has been playing continuously at the theatre since 1986. It won the Olivier Award for best new musical, and is the second longest running West-End musical.
Interesting fact: The original Victorian stage machinery remains beneath the stage of the theatre and is used within the Phantom lair scenes.
Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts used to be stationed in the Dome room at the top of the building.
QUEEN’S - Shaftesbury Avenue
1,074 seats – Stalls, Dress Circle, Upper Circle – 101 cast, crew and orchestra members
Built in 1907 (It’s 200 years younger than Her Maj!)
Grade II listed (sitting with the likes of the BT tower)
September 1940 – Heavily bombed during the Blitz, destroying much of the façade and lobby areas.
July 1959 - reconstructed theatre opened
Queens is a Delfont Mackintosh theatre and owned by Sir Cameron Mackintosh
Houses the world’s longest running musical, Les Misérables, which opened October 1985 at the Palace theatre, and transferred to the Queen’s on the 3rd of April 2004.
Interesting fact: The Queen’s is the only theatre in the West End, thought to have a gay ghost.
Although Les Misérables might be the nation’s favourite musical (as revealed by Elaine Paige on BBC radio after 6 months voting in 2014), we think the history behind Her Majesty’s makes it a clear theatre winner in our eyes. Which ZEAT ART poster do you prefer?