Apr 112009

West End Guide – where is “Theatreland”?

In the heart of the West End of London is an area sometimes called ‘Theatreland’. Traditionally it is bordered by The Strand to the south, Oxford Street to the north, Regent Street to the west, and Kingsway to the east.
Important streets with theatres include :

  • Drury Lane,
  • Shaftesbury Avenue,
  • The Strand.

The area contains around forty of London’s largest theatres.They tend to show mostly musicals, with a few classics, new plays,and comedy performances.

West End Guide to the Theatres

Most of the theatres were built in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. All of them are privately owned.
All of the older theatres have great architectural character and range in style from the grand neo-classical to the very ornate rococo. They usually have luxurious, detailed interior design and decoration, with lots of gold and plush.
Occasionally the older theatres have limited leg room and restricted views from some parts of the theatre. Tickets for these areas are usually sold cheaper and are not usually offered as part of theatre breaks.
Audience facilities such as bars and toilets are often much smaller than in modern theatres.
The buildings are all listed and this can make it hard to make improvements. However several theatres have introduced modern comforts such as air conditioning and new sound systems.

The Largest Theatres in The West End

The largest theatres in the West End seat over 2,000 theatre-goers.

  • The Palladium – currently about to show Sister Act – 2286 seats
  • The Apollo, Vcctoria – Wicked – 2208
  • The Theatre Royal – Oliver!- 2196 seats
  • The Dominion – We Will Rock You – 2163 seats
  • The Lyceum – Lion King – 2100 seats
  • I’ll be posting more soon on our West End Guide

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