The Theatre Royal Haymarket (also known as Haymarket Theatre or the Little Theatre) is a West End theatre in the Haymarket in the City of Westminster which dates back to 1720, making it the third-oldest London playhouse still in use. Samuel Foote acquired the lease in 1747, and in 1766 he gained a royal patent to play legitimate drama (meaning spoken drama, as opposed to opera, concerts or plays with music) in the summer months. The original building was a little further north in the same street. It has been at its current location since 1821, when it was redesigned by John Nash. It is a Grade I listed building, with a seating capacity of 888. The freehold of the theatre is owned by the Crown Estate.
The Haymarket has been the site of a significant innovation in theatre. In 1873, it was the venue for the first scheduled matinée performance, establishing a custom soon followed in theatres everywhere.
The First Haymarket Theatre or Little Theatre was built in 1720 by John Potter, carpenter, on the site of The King's Head Inn in the Haymarket and a shop in Suffolk Street kept by Isaac Bliburgh, a gunsmith, and known by the sign of the Cannon and Musket. It was the third public theatre opened in the West End. The theatre cost £1000 to build, with a further £500 expended on decorations, scenery and costumes. It opened on December 29, 1720, with a French play La Fille a la Morte, ou le Badeaut de Paris performed by a company later known as 'The French Comedians of His Grace the Duke of Montague'.