Blavatnik gets Haymarket
The Russian-born billionaire and philanthropist Sir Leonard Blavatnik has acquired the Theatre Royal Haymarket Access Entertainment, for an undisclosed sum.
Blavatnik, one of the richest people in the country who has given millions to cultural developments, with Tate Modern’s Switch House and the V&A’s new Exhibition Road entrance named after him, vowed to continue the historic West End theatre’s long tradition of excellence”.
The purchase has beden made through Blavatnik’s Access Entertainment, now headed by the former director of BBC Television Danny Cohen. “London’s West End is a world-leading powerhouse of artistic talent and through this acquisition we will contribute to its ongoing success” Cohen said. “When it comes to great talent the boundaries between film, television and theatre have never been more porous, so this acquisition creates great opportunities for Access Entertainment across the world". The Access ENtyertiaoinment portfolio includes Warner Music and Perform Group, the UK's highest valued tech company.
The Theatre Royal will celebrate its 300thanniversary on the site in 2020 and the current John Nash-designed building opened in 1821with a production of Sheridan’s The Rivals followed by a season which included Edmund Kean’s King Lear. Later in the 19th cemetery Oscar Wilde when two of his plays, An Ideal Husbandand A Woman of No Importance, had their premieres there.
In 1971 it was bought by Louis I Michaels, and in 1984 underwent a £1.3m refurbishment.