London's West End Theatres
Seeing a theatrical performance is an absolute must during a visit to London's West End. While London's West End features some of the top theatrical productions and musicals globally, there is a lot more to this neighbourhood than glowing signs and celebrity sightings. London's West End is one of the most famous and beloved theatre districts, but you should be familiar with some vital details and helpful pointers before your first show.
Brief History Of London's West End
Today's vibrant West End, with its thriving cultural scene, sits at the heart of London. Although it is allowed in the present day, entertainment was not previously permitted in London. The Puritans had all London theatres closed in 1642 - a ban that remained in place for 17 years. However, in 1660, when the ban was repealed, London theatres began to thrive and delight residents and visitors in the West End.
Drury Lane Theatre, which was opened in 1663, is the oldest theatre in the West End that is still in use today. King Charles II loved it, and hence, this theatre has remained a royal favourite since then. It was also the first venue to hear the National Anthem and Rule Britannia.
After establishing the first few theatres, a growing number of them were established in what is now known as London's West End. Then, in 1843, the Theatres Act eased the rules for presenting plays, and London's West End Theatreland was born.
List Of The Famous London's West End Theatres
Several London's West End theatres are as well known for the exquisite shows they stage, whether because of their historic prominence or their distinctive buildings. A few of the famous theatres here are:
It has been more than a century since the London Palladium was established as the capital's grand home of variety. The best part is that it continues to amuse and surprise audiences with its richness and diversity of acts and performances even today. The London Palladium has hosted the ITV stage shows from 1955-1967, which has made it a popular place for television broadcasts. Additionally, the London Palladium has gained recognition for hosting numerous award ceremonies, such as the BAFTAs and the Brit Awards.
For more than a decade, a large gold statue of Freddie Mercury guarded the entrance to the Dominion Theatre on Tottenham Court Road, establishing it as a landmark on the London skyline. The Dominion Theatre also served as a common location for the London auditions for Britain's Got Talent, which were held at the venue regularly.
As the home of six theatres in the West End of London, Shaftesbury Avenue is the most well-known street in the capital. Soho's most bustling and glamorous street is home to the Apollo Theatre, Gielgud Theatre, Lyric Theatre, Palace Theatre, Shaftesbury Theatre, and Queen's Theatre. Furthermore, the Palace Theatre is the venue of the Olivier Award-winning Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
What else can you do in London's West End?
The highlight in the street of London's West End theatre is watching a show, but what do you do with the rest of your time? Thankfully, London has plenty of museums, attractions, and other places to visit.
Consider enjoying a climbing The Shard, London bus tour, or taking a Circular Cruise Westminster. Have an hour or two? Enjoy the tour of the West End, which is voiced by Sir Ian McKellen, the celebrated British actor.
If you are here in London for a week or so, then make sure to visit London's West End theatres for sure!