The play was first produced on 22 April 1952 at the Théâtre Lancry under the direction of Sylvain Dhomme. It was revived in 1956 at the Studio des Champs Elysées, directed by Jacques Mauclair. Two revivals of the play were produced in 1997 and 1998. One developed as a collaboration between Theatre de Complicite and the Royal Court Theatre, was directed by Simon McBurney, and became a surprise hit in London, later running at the John Golden Theatre on Broadway in 1998.
Director/choreographer David Gordon and his wife, dancer/actress Valda Setterfield appeared in a version of the play, somewhat adapted and re-written by Gordon to the extent allowed by the Ionesco estate, in 2004. This version of The Chairs was presented in London, at the Barbican Center, in Seattle, Washington, and at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York. The play was also revived at the Gate Theatre in Notting Hill, London in November 2006. The farewell production of departing artistic director Thea Sharrock, it starred Susan Brown and Nicholas Woodeson in the key roles.
In 2016, Extant theatre company, under the direction of Maria Oshodi, produced the play, touring England, United Kingdom. The play starred Heather Gilmore and Tim Gebbels, both of whom are visually impaired actors.