By Admin on Thursday, January 24 2013, 05:02 - Permalink
About London Theatreland – Welcome to the sparkling West End!
A real jewel in the city of London’s entertainment crown, the West End is home to numerous beautiful, unique and historic theatres, some of which occupy the sites of ancient entertainment venues dating right back to Shakespearian times.
A bit of Theatreland history
The first permanent public playhouse, called The Theatre, was built in 1576 in Shoreditch. Today the West End represents the very finest commercial theatre in the nation, if not in the English-speaking world. Millions of people from all over the planet visit the city to take in top musicals, legendary plays, hilarious comedies and new, critically acclaimed productions, some of which are lucky enough to transfer from regional theatres to hit the big time. There’s no doubt about it - the West End stage is as popular as it ever was, and London theatreland regularly attracts some of the most talented and famous actors from stage, TV and the silver screen.
Some of the longest running shows in town include The Mousetrap, Les Miserables, The Phantom of the Opera and The Woman in Black, all world-renowned and enduringly popular. The main theatre district includes more than forty venues spread throughout an area bordered by The Strand, Oxford Street, Regent Street and Kingsway. Visit after dark to see the lovely old theatres lit up to display their full splendour with pillars and porticos, glittering gilt and stunning statuary.
While a handful of the West End’s venues are modern, most are masterpieces in traditional theatre design covering grand neo-classical styles, venues inspired by fine Roman amphitheatres, superb examples of lavishly decorative Victorian architecture, stylish Art Deco and sinuous Art Nouveau. Most are beautifully preserved and all deliver an experience that’ll take your breath away.
Top Theatreland venues
What about the best loved venues in town? They include the magnificent Lyceum Theatre, the Savoy and the two Theatre Royals, one on Haymarket and the other on Drury Lane. A little further out there are plenty more to enjoy including the Victoria Palace, Apollo Victoria, Old Vic and the vast modernist National Theatre complex on the bank of the mighty Thames, all of which all into the sought-after West End category.
There's more to the West End than theatre!
As well as a wealth of top class entertainment the area delivers wonderful shopping, world class restaurants, excellent hotels and London’s hidden treasures, its lovely parks and public green spaces. London is the greenest city of its size on earth, which makes a West End theatre visit even more of a pleasure.