A-Z of the West End

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!

The West End Theatres

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Adelphi Theatre

  • Currently showing: Kinky Boots – buy tickets
  • Nearest tube: Charing Cross
  • Open since: 1806
  • Capacity: 1500

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Aldwych Theatre

  • Currently showing: Beautiful: The Carole King Musical – buy tickets
  • Nearest tube: Covent Garden
  • Open since: 1905
  • Capacity: 1200

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Ambassadors Theatre

  • Currently showing: Stomp – buy tickets
  • Nearest tube: Covent Garden
  • Open since: 1913
  • Capacity: 444

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Apollo Theatre

  • Currently showing: Love in Idleness – buy tickets
  • Nearest tube: Piccadilly Circus
  • Open since: 1901
  • Capacity: 658

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Apollo Victoria Theatre

  • Currently showing: Wicked – buy tickets
  • Nearest tube: Victoria
  • Open since: 1930
  • Capacity: 2328

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Arts Theatre

  • Currently showing: The Wipers Times – buy tickets
  • Nearest tube: Leicester Square
  • Open since: 1913
  • Capacity: 350

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Cambridge Theatre

  • Currently showing: Matilda – buy tickets
  • Nearest tube: Covent Garden
  • Open since: 1930
  • Capacity: 1231

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Criterion Theatre

  • Currently showing: The Comedy About a Bank Robbery – buy tickets
  • Nearest tube: Piccadilly Circus
  • Open since: 1874
  • Capacity: 588

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Dominion Theatre

  • Currently showing: An American in Paris – buy tickets
  • Nearest tube: Tottenham Court Road
  • Open since: 1929
  • Capacity: 2163

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Duchess Theatre

  • Currently showing: The Play That Goes Wrong – buy tickets
  • Nearest tube: Covent Garden
  • Open since: 1929
  • Capacity: 494

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Duke of York’s Theatre

  • Currently showing: Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour – buy tickets
  • Nearest tube: Charing Cross
  • Open since: 1892
  • Capacity: 640

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Fortune Theatre

  • Currently showing: The Woman in Black – buy tickets
  • Nearest tube: Covent Garden
  • Open since: 1924
  • Capacity: 432

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Garrick Theatre

  • Currently showing: The Miser – buy tickets
  • Nearest tube: Charing Cross
  • Open since: 1889
  • Capacity: 718

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Gielgud Theatre

  • Currently showing: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time – buy tickets
  • Nearest tube: Leicester Square
  • Open since: 1906
  • Capacity: 986

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Harold Pinter Theatre

  • Currently showing: Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? – buy tickets
  • Nearest tube: Piccadilly Circus
  • Open since: 1881
  • Capacity: 796

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Her Majesty’s Theatre

  • Currently showing: The Phantom of the Opera – buy tickets
  • Nearest tube: Charing Cross
  • Open since: 1705
  • Capacity: 1216

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London Palladium

  • Currently showing: The Wind in the Willows – buy tickets
  • Nearest tube: Oxford Circus
  • Open since: 1910
  • Capacity: 2286

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Lyceum Theatre

  • Currently showing: The Lion King – buy tickets
  • Nearest tube: Covent Garden
  • Open since: 1834
  • Capacity: 2100

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Lyric Theatre

  • Currently showing: Thriller: Live – buy tickets
  • Nearest tube: Piccadilly Circus
  • Open since: 1888
  • Capacity: 915

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New London Theatre

  • Currently showing: School of Rock – buy tickets
  • Nearest tube: Holborn
  • Open since: 1973
  • Capacity: 1118

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Noel Coward Theatre

  • Currently showing: Half a Sixpence – buy tickets
  • Nearest tube: Leicester Square
  • Open since: 1903
  • Capacity: 872

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Novello Theatre

  • Currently showing: Mamma Mia – buy tickets
  • Nearest tube: Covent Garden
  • Open since: 1905
  • Capacity: 1105

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Palace Theatre

  • Currently showing: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
  • Nearest tube: Leicester Square
  • Open since: 1891
  • Capacity: 1400

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Phoenix Theatre

  • Currently showing: The Girls – buy tickets
  • Nearest tube: Tottenham Court Road
  • Open since: 1930
  • Capacity: 1012

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Piccadilly Theatre

  • Currently showing: Annie – buy tickets
  • Nearest tube: Piccadilly Circus
  • Open since: 1928
  • Capacity: 1232

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Playhouse Theatre

  • Currently showing: My Family: Not The Sitcom – buy tickets
  • Nearest tube: Charing Cross
  • Open since: 1882
  • Capacity: 786

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Prince Edward Theatre

  • Currently showing: Aladdin – buy tickets
  • Nearest tube: Leicester Square
  • Open since: 1930
  • Capacity: 1618

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Prince of Wales Theatre

  • Currently showing: The Book of Mormon – buy tickets
  • Nearest tube: Piccadilly Circus
  • Open since: 1884
  • Capacity: 1160

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Queen’s Theatre

  • Currently showing: Les Miserables – buy tickets
  • Nearest tube: Leicester Square
  • Open since: 1907
  • Capacity: 1200

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Savoy Theatre

  • Currently showing: Dreamgirls – buy tickets
  • Nearest tube: Charing Cross
  • Open since: 1881
  • Capacity: 1150

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Shaftesbury Theatre

  • Currently showing: Motown: The Musical – buy tickets
  • Nearest tube: Tottenham Court Road
  • Open since: 1911
  • Capacity: 1400

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St Martin’s Theatre

  • Currently showing: The Mousetrap – buy tickets
  • Nearest tube: Leicester Square
  • Open since: 1916
  • Capacity: 550

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Theatre Royal (Drury Lane)

  • Currently showing: 42nd Street – buy tickets
  • Nearest tube: Covent Garden
  • Open since: 1660
  • Capacity: 2196

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Theatre Royal (Haymarket)

  • Currently showing: The Goat, or Who is Sylvia? – buy tickets
  • Nearest tube: Piccadilly Circus
  • Open since: 1821
  • Capacity: 888

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Trafalgar Studios

  • Currently showing: The Philanthropist
  • Nearest tube: Charing Cross
  • Open since: 1930
  • Capacity: 380

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Vaudeville Theatre

  • Currently showing: Stepping Out – buy tickets
  • Nearest tube: Charing Cross
  • Open since: 1870
  • Capacity: 690

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Victoria Palace Theatre

  • Currently showing: Hamilton (from November 2017)
  • Nearest tube: Victoria
  • Open since: 1911
  • Capacity: 1550

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Wyndham’s Theatre

  • Currently showing: Don Juan in Soho – buy tickets
  • Nearest tube: Leicester Square
  • Open since: 1899
  • Capacity: 759

 

Photos courtesy of Wikipedia

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