In central London, there is a popular theatre district that can only be rivalled by New York’s Broadway. London’s West End has sufficient theatres to satiate even the most ardent thespian.
However, exploring this area can be a challenge. This is London’s entertainment district after all; it’s job is to overwhelm the senses. That’s why we’ve come up with this handy guide for all the theatre lovers out there who want to make the most of their London trip.
It is estimated that there are at least forty performance spaces in the West End area, earning it the nickname “Theatreland”. Many theatres have impressive facades and opulent interiors and were constructed in the late Victorian and Edwardian eras. Although now privately owned and maintained, they manage to keep their past allure.
Theatre Royal, Drury Lane
If you’re looking for a bit of history, you might want to place this theatre at the top of your list. There has been some kind of theatre on this site since the late 17th century. Earlier structures suffered closures, fires and other problems. The current theatre dates from 1812. It accommodates 2,000 people and currently stages the American classic “42nd Street”.
Shows to Watch
There is no definitive answer to what shows you should watch. It’s a question of preference. You can pick staples like Les Miserable which has been running since 1985, or you can be more experimental and buy seats for shows you haven’t even heard of. The official guidebook VisitLondon.com offers a free catalogue.
Not Just Shows
To experience Theatreland fully, watching a show or two is not enough. The area is also known for its jazz bars, food joints and cafes. Don’t hesitate to stay out after your gala show.
When you’re travelling to London, a trip to the West End is in order for theatre fans. With clever research and accommodation that lets you stay nearby, the West End is undoubtedly one of the liveliest areas of London.