London Theatre performances are an integral part of the cultural and artistic landscape of this vibrant city. London has long been a city of great importance in Western Europe and beyond for the arts. The tradition carries on to this day from the many London West End Theatre performances to the great halls and venues that house some of today’s greatest play actors. If you are currently planning a trip to London you should begin to do your research on which theatres and performances interest you. It is not uncommon to see the likes of fabled stage actors such as Ian McKellen at one of the London shows on the West End. There are a wide variety of venues from which to choose as well as an ever-changing roster of exciting performances.
London Theatre shows truly do run the gamut from Broadway favorites including The Lion King, Les Miserables, Chicago, and The Phantom of the Opera, to classics like Waiting for Godot. It is a lot of fun to engage the topic and choose from not only which performances you would like to see, but also which venues you would like to visit. Perhaps the decision about which 2016 London shows to see will be informed by which London West End theatre you have always wanted to visit. And in London, the theatre scene stretches far beyond just one area. From the Shakespeare Globe Theatre on the south bank of the Thames in Southwark to the Open Air Theatre in Regent’s Park, London Theatre infiltrates many of the districts throughout the city.
London West End Theatre is like Broadway in New York City. There are some 40 venues that offer 2016 London shows worthy of the West End designation. A few of the theatres officially lie outside the boundaries of the West End, but are classed with the rest because of the high quality and production value. Some of the biggest London West End Theatre performances take place at the Palladium, which seats about 2,300, the Apollo Victoria, and the Drury Lane (the latter two also seat around the same number). There are also a number of tiny but gorgeous theatres that play host to some of the city’s smaller performances. For instance, the Donmar, Arts, and Fortune Theatres all seat substantially fewer than 500 people.
The buildings and facades of these theatres are iconic in and of themselves. When you take a look at the facades of places such as the Vaudeville, Lyric Theatre, St. Martin’s Theatre, and the Victoria Theatre you are instantly struck with the sense that London Theatre has been an important part of the fabric of British society and history for quite some time. There are London shows playing all the time which makes it possible for most anyone to have the opportunity to catch a performance while they are in the city. It is important to see as many of the attractions in the city as possible, such as the London Eye, Hyde Park, and Buckingham Palace, but make sure not to forget the London theatre scene. It is possible to find half price tickets if you know where to look, but make sure your tickets are from an official source as it is easy to pay a lot extra at unofficial ticket booths.