London is famous for many reasons- stunning architecture, incredible history, world class museums, even the public transport is legendary!
People all over the world would recognize a picture of London’s double decker buses, Tower Bridge or Big Ben; so it makes total sense that London’s theatre district, the West End, would also be of world class status.
Many of the greatest shows ever put on the big stage have had incredible stints on London’s stages, and some of the best performances ever seen have taken place in many of the city’s finest theatres.
London has an incredibly long 2,000 year history that is packed with arts and culture, from the Romans to the Bard himself. William Shakespeare helped to cement the city’s status as one of the best in the world for the performing arts, and it’s something that has never changed.
Book a room at the Marble Arch by Montcalm, home to some of the best luxury hotel rooms in London and take full advantage of the hotel’s proximity to the West End- and the fact that it’s perhaps the best spa hotel London has to offer.
Other than Broadway it could be argued that this is the best theatre district in the world- but you can be the judge of that.
The perfect weekend full of relaxation and culture awaits, so let’s take a look at the absolute best theatres London has to offer.
The Lyceum can trace its roots back to 1765 when the first playhouse was built on this spot. In the following years it hosted many incredible plays and actually gave the little-known Madame Tussaud her first exhibition.
After being destroyed by the Great Fire of London, it was rebuilt and remains very much the same to this day.
It is one of the most historic theatres in the city and has hosted some of the greatest performances ever committed to the stage.
It is now home to the Lion King, which is in its 23rd year of production! This is one of the longest running and most successful shows in history, and is an absolute staple of London’s performance scene.
Located just off the Strand in the heart of London, this 2,100-seat venue is one of the greatest in the world.
Apollo Victoria Theatre
The Apollo Victoria sits right opposite one of the main transit hubs for the city, and despite it not having the same history as some of the other theatres in the area, it is a pretty significant building for London’s West End.
Opened in 1930 as a cinema and variety theatre, it quickly became a popular venue for musical theatre with the Sound of Music in 1981 and has not looked back since.
It is now the home of Wicked, one of the world’s most popular on stage shows, that has been running since 2006.
The venue can seat 2,500 people and is famed for its atmosphere and charm. It is arguably one of the most well-known theatres in the country.
If you’re any kind of theatre buff, then thinking of London instantly conjures images from the world famous Les Misérables.
Opened in the early 1900s, the Sondheim Theatre is one of the most prestigious in the city- and that’s really saying something.
It is a Grade II Listed Building and was originally named the Queen’s Theatre, but was renamed after a remodel to honour the death of the late, great Stephen Sondheim.
It is now home to Les Mis, the second longest running show in the history of the West End having opened in 1985! Les Mis has obviously moved theatres during its time in the city, but it has found a great home in this venue that seats just over 1,000 guests.
The Barbican Centre is a cultural hub for the entire city and is actually one of the largest venues of its kind in the world.
The Theatre has played host to many of the world’s greatest shows and offers amazing opportunities for engaging in cultural and performing arts.
The Theatres seats just over 1 thousand people and is home to the London Symphony Orchestra and the BBC Symphony Orchestra.
Currently on the bill is the amazing stage adaptation of Studio Ghibli’s stunning ‘My Neighbour Totoro’ featuring none other than George Takei. Oh my!
As previously mentioned,; Shakespeare, the greatest playwright of all time, was a London local and had most of his plays staged in the original Globe Theatre when it was built in 1599.
The theatre clearly did not survive to the modern day, but an exact replica was built in 1997 and is a stunning window into the past. In fact, the replica was so exact they even mimicked some of the building techniques used in the original structure.
It now hosts some stunning performances and a regular rotation of Shakespeare’s own work and can hold a staggering 1,570 people.
The Adelphi is one of the city’s most iconic theatre and is actually part owned by Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber himself.
It was founded in 1806 and immediately became a favourite for the culture vultures of London, and it has specialised in comedy and variety theatre- although now of course its sole focus is musical theatre.
It is currently home to the fantastic Back to the Future stage adaptation that is proving very popular and can seat around 1500 people over three levels.
The West End is the Best End
So there you have it, some of the most amazing and iconic theatre in London, and indeed the world.
There is nowhere else that compares to London’s quality and incredible diversity in shows and performances. It is one of the greatest theatre districts in the world and should not be missed the next time you are in the city.
Book a room at the stunning Marble Arch by Montcalm for the perfect weekend. You’ll have the pick of the best restaurants near The Arch, all within easy reach of your hotel; then you’ll be able to head to a world class theatre for a stunning performance.
Sounds like a great way to spend a weekend to me!