Do you love live theatre? If so, the West End, London is a must-visit destination. This vibrant neighborhood is home to some of the world’s most famous theatres, and is where you’ll find the best shows in town. Check out our guide to West End theatres for all the info you need to plan your visit. Whether you’re a seasoned theatre buff or a newbie just starting to explore this incredible art form, we’ve got something for everyone!
West End, London
West End, London is a vibrant and exciting place to be. There’s always something going on, whether it’s a new play opening at the theatre, or a concert at one of the many world-famous music venues. And of course, there are the shops! From high-end fashion to funky independent boutiques, you’re sure to find something to suit your taste.
But it’s not all about the shopping and the entertainment. The West End is also home to some of London’s most iconic landmarks, such as Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square and Piccadilly Circus. So whether you’re looking for a fun night out or a day of sightseeing, you’ll find everything you need in the West End.
In this post we will focus on the world-famous West End Theatres, what they have to offer and how you can get the most out of your visit.
West End Theatres and Musicals
The West End of London is world renowned for its theatres. They play host to some of the biggest names in musical theatre, as well as top-notch dramas, comedies and more. Whether you’re a theatre fan or not, a visit to the West End, London is not complete without seeing a show.
There are over 40 theatres in the West End, London, so it can be tricky to know where to start. To help you out, we’ve put together a list of some of our favorites:
- The Lyceum Theatre, located on the Wellington Street, with the capacity of over 2,000 seats. It’s famous for the musical version of The Lion King, an iconic Disney movie.
- London Palladium, located on the Argyll Street. It hosted many notable productions, including The Wizard of Oz, Cats, and the current musical Beauty and the Beast.
- Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, located on the Catherine Street. The greatest productions of this venue include The King and I (1953–1956), Gone with the Wind (1972–1973), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2013–2017), and Frozen (from 2021).
- Palace Theatre, located on the Shaftesbury Avenue, with a capacity of 1400 people. Currently, it is playing Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
- Her Majesty’s Theatre, located on the Haymarket, opened in 1705, with its iconic hit musical Phantom of the Opera, played from 1986.
- Novello Theatre, currently playing Mamma Mia.
- Piccadilly Theatre, with some of the best west end musicals, including the Jailhouse Rock – The Musical, Grease, Dirty Dancing, Pretty Woman, and Moulin Rouge!.
- Aldwych Theatre, hosting Tina: The Tina Turner Musical from April 2018.
- Noël Coward Theatre, with its musical Dear Evan Hansen.
Interesting Facts About the West End London Theatres
The longest-running musical in West End history is Les Misérables, created by Cameron Mackintosh and first performed on October 25, 1985. The longest-running nonmusical show in the world is Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap, which has been performed continuously since 1952. What are the other interesting facts about these West End London theatres and the West End shows?
- The largest West End theater is the Apollo Victoria Theatre (2.328 seats).
- The Theatre Royal, Drury Lane is said to be haunted by the ghost of the former actor.
- It took 37,000 hours to build the puppets and masks featured in The Lion King.
- It’s considered bad luck to say the name “Macbeth” in a theater.
- During World War II, West End buildings were hit by 167 bombs.
- There are 38 theatres in the West End, with the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, which opened in May 1663, being the oldest theater in London.
Which play or which theatre in West End, London would you like to visit? Leave a comment below!
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