The West End describes the area of theatres in the West End of London and in this post I will give you a very brief rundown of each theatre before going on to explore each in more detail over the coming few months. The theatre district consists of around 40 theatres (some are just outside the West End but are still included). Most of these theatres are Victorian or Edwardian which is evident from the beautiful buildings that house the many musicals, comedies and everything in between.
Many shows are so popular that they have no end dated and Les Miserables for example, has been running for over 30 years and is the longest running West End show. Some of the theatres are fairly small partially due to the age of the buildings and only house 380 audience members. Others on the other hand house up to 2286. There are other theatres in the West End district that typically aren’t included. This is because they run less conventional shows. The Old Vic for example resides in the West End and is currently hosting Woyseck, a play on the Cold War. Similarly, the world famous Royal Opera House sits in the West End. There are of course also other theatres located outside this area and within Greater London too such as in Hammersmith and Kingston.
Visiting the West End has become one of London’s biggest tourist attractions given the huge variety of entertainment in such a central location, catering for all ages and giving the ability to be enjoyed by anyone and everyone – even those whose first language isn’t English (see our review on Stomp!) A visit to the West End really is the perfect treat for any occasion and is a wonderful addition to anyone’s trip to London.
To experience emotions with those around you as you watch a beautiful piece of theatre that obvious time and effort has gone into is phenomenal. The set design, costumes, intricate make-up and hair, addictive musical numbers and dance moves nailed to perfection are almost too good to be true. The cast may do this day in-day out, but their passion and enthusiasm for what they do is evident. Not only is the theatre experience itself great, but the environment in the West End overall, throughout the many bars and restaurants is something that is simply unbeatable and must be experienced at least once in your life time!