The Theatre Royal Haymarket in London is up for sale

After 47 years in charge, the custodians of the Theatre Royal Haymarket are moving on.

1st February 2018
/ By Matthew Whitehouse

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London's Theatre Royal Haymarket has been put up for sale by it's owners.

The Grade I-listed West End Theatre first opened centuries ago in 1720 and was the temporary home to John Gielgud during the blitz as well as staging premieres of Oscar Wilde plays.

Owner of Theatre Royal Haymarket, Arnold Crook, says the timing has to do with a recent birthday: "This is the year I become an octogenarian and there comes a time when life moves on. 

"But the years here have been wonderful and I know I shall miss it."

Crook also spoke of how he came into possession of the theatre: "Louis Michaels and his partner Enid Chanelle had bought a lease on the Theatre Royal in the Haymarket. 

"But sadly in 1981 Louis died and as I was then married to Enid's daughter I suddenly found myself chairman. 

"I suppose I didn't really know what I was taking on but I jumped in with both feet. I soon realised what a superb building I was in charge of.

“As custodian of the Theatre Royal Haymarket since 1981, it has been my life’s pride … it is now time to hand over the reins to the next generation of dream-makers.”

The Rat Pack is currently playing at the theatre despite the venue's primary focus on serious fair.

The elegant theatre has hosted a number of classic and contemporary plays over the years, and along with them a string of stars.

"It's important you look after the bricks and mortar. But also we look after our performers and make them at home. That's why we've had so many huge stars here," says Crook.

"Just in my time, there's been Lauren Bacall and Jack Lemmon and Judi Dench and Maggie Smith and so many others. 

"But I'm also proud of the Masterclass scheme which has brought in 100,000 young theatregoers, many of whom had never been in a theatre before."

The asking price at this point is unknown.