Monthly Archives: July 2011
Would you like to enjoy a weekend away with cheap theatre tickets? You can start by going to one of the famous West End theatres, enjoy a nice meal, and then spend a night in a nearby hotel. You can experience the entertainment that royalty and the masses have shared for over 400 hundred years. Discount theatre tickets are also easy to find in the West End theatre district for most popular shows.
The West End theatre area contains approximately 40 theatres. You can see professional shows in big theatres. The area is known for having the best commercial theatres within the world of English speakers. They’re equal in quality to the Broadway theatre productions in New York. Residents and tourists alike use their holidays to go see the entertainment in the West End district.
West End is also known as Theatreland. It’s located the middle of the west side of the centre of London. Theatreland is bordered by The Strand on the south, Oxford Street on the north side, Kingsway on the eastern side and Regent Street on the west. You can find the dominating theatres on Drury Lane, The Strand and on Shaftesbury Avenue. The theatres on these streets produce comedy, classic shows along with musicals.
You can start by seeing a huge threatre production at the Theatre Royal in Drury Lane. This famous theatre seats over 2100 individuals. Originally it was built in 1663 and as of 1812 it seated over 3,500. The Theatre Royal in Drury Lane has many semi-circle threatre boxes covering the curved back wall above the stage-level seating area.
You will see a lot of theatres in the West End with Edwardian and Victorian design. Most of the theatres have interiors with exquisitely luxurious decoration and the detailed style of Victorian, Romanesque or neo-classical facade designs.
Here’s a sample of what you can see at several West End theatres and their seating capacity.
- Shaftesbury Theatre – Burn The Floor – opens 2010-07-19 and closes on 2010-09-4. Seats 1400.
- Theatre Royal on Haymarket – Sweet Charity – opened 2010-05-04 without a closing date. Seats 888.
- Palace Theatre – Priscilla, Queen of The Desert – opened 2009-03-10 without a closing date. Seats 1400.
- Duchess Theatre – The Fantasticks – opened 2010-05-24 and closes on 2010-11-05. Seats 479.
- Gielgud Theatre – Hair – opened 2010-04-14 without a closing date. Seats 937.
- Theatre Royal, Drury Lane – Oliver! – opened 09-01-14 without a closing date. Seats 2196.
Tickets can be bought at half price in the centre of the theatre district at Leicester Square. Outlets sell tickets for the popular shows at reduced prices. Many tickets are sold for half price with an additional service charge.
The theatre district’s West End is also known as the centre of the United Kingdom entertainment. It contains the biggest shopping area within Europe. It’s also the home of United Kingdom theatre and film industry as well as numerous upper-scale restaurants, bars, hotels and nightclubs.
London is home to the hottest theatre shows, being staged in the infamous West End. Find the top musicals, plays and comedies that are currently showing at the West End that are capturing the hearts of the nation
London’s West End features a wide variety of musicals, plays and comedies that are sure to please almost everyone. Here’s a guide to some of some of the hottest musicals, plays and comedies that are currently showing at London’s West End.
West End Musicals
The West End usually features a wide variety of musicals that span many different genres and eras. This trend is continuing nowadays as several classic musicals and new spins-offs on old favourites continue to dominate the West End. Here are brief reviews of some musicals currently playing that continue to be favourites:
This version of the classic play is a This classic musical is set in 1920′s Chicago and features twilight showgirl Roxie Hart’s adventures to beat off murder charges that are setting back her career in show business. It also features her media-savvy and arrogant lawyer Flynn who uses gusto and outright showboating to help Roxie contest the murder charges. As time progresses, Flynn’s swashbuckling antics turn Roxie’s case into a 1920s media extravaganza.
This timeless 1960s classic musical about a group of New York City hippies protesting against social injustices and the war in Vietnam gets a nice modern treatment in this adaption by director Diane Paulus. When one of the characters named Claude gets drafted into military service in Asia, Paulus does a nice job showing viewers an intimate look at his feelings and reactions to the group’s protests. Don’t forget to watch for songs such as the theme from ‘Hair’ and ‘Let the Sunshine In’ that made the musical in the first place.
Now that you know which musicals are doing well at the West End, let’s have a look at the plays that call West End home.
The West End is currently showing plays that include classic whodunits and modern plays that try to make sense of current social issues. This is the case because West End theatres are showing several plays that feature classic murder mysteries, contemporary twists on old favourites and modern plays that try to make sense out of our current economic problems. If you like these sorts of plays, here are a couple that are worth watching.
Lucy Prebble’s look at the infamous melt-down of one of America’s largest energy companies is handled nicely by director Rupert Goold. Goold uses contemporary videos and music to shed a new light on Enron’s melt-down and today’s current economic bind. In addition, try to find all of the references about the 1990’s in this play. It will make watching Enron more compelling.
The Mouse Trap:
David Turner’s fun and spirited adaptation of Agatha Christie’s enjoyable murder mystery has been in production at the West End since 1974! This is true because Turner’s look at how a group of friends gathered together in a remote area of England’s countryside resolve a murder mystery amongst them is top-notch! Can you figure out who is the murderer in the play?
London’s West End is also famous for staging funny comedies that are sure to tickle people’s funny bones. Here are a few comedies that take silliness to a whole new high.
Grumpy Old Women Live 2 – Chin up Britain!:
This very silly adaptation of a popular BBC Television programme teaches viewers how to handle today’s current economic and social messes with grumpy composure and even grumpier mayhem. Antics include never-before silliness that describes ‘Why the Recession is Good for Our Kids’ and a great how-to-guide that demonstrates how to have fantastic ‘Grumpy Rumpy Pumpy’ that is sure to make your sides hurt.
The 39 Steps:
This is a comical treatment of a 1935 Alford Hitchcock’s classic move thriller that features four actors playing over 150 roles who promise to perform every scene from this thriller very, very quickly. Mayhem and chaos are used to create silly farces out of such legendary scenes as the controversial ‘stockings and suspenders’ scene and the ‘Escape on the Forth Bridge’ scene that is bound to make Hitchcock fans laugh in hysterics.
The classic girl’s film Dirty Dancing has made it from film to theatre with block busting sales and awe-inspiring dance routines. It’s a must see for any girl who’s seen the film over and over again.
Dirty Dancing: The Classic Story on Stage is a story of a seventeen year old girl named Frances “Baby” Houseman. Set in the summer of the year 1963, Baby goes on vacation to the New York Catskill mountains resort with her family where the staff have all night dance party with sexy dance moves and musical rhythms and tempos that Baby hasn’t seen nor heard before. After seeing and hearing the dances and the music, Baby can’t wait to be a part of this hypnotizing scene especially after she first sets her eye on the very attractive dance instructor of the resort, Johnny Castle. There is a show at a nearby resort that Johnny and his dance partner wish to participate in but his usual dance partner is unable to participate so Johnny teaches Baby to be a better dancer as well as teaches her his sick partner’s part in the routine so that she can be the replacement. Baby and Johnny’s tempers clash but despite this a romance begins. There is a turmoil of events happening during this with Johnny’s dance parter (Penny), Johnny, Baby’s family, and Penny’s current boyfriend. The events all unfold and all lead up to a climatic ending.
The musical Dirty Dancing: The Classic Story on Stage is based on the movie Dirty Dancing that was originally released in 1987. This version of the movie, however, is a live, musical show. The live version of the show actually broke records in the UK and Germany for having advance tickets sales that were the highest in history.
In London, the show sold out for the first six months of it’s showing before it had even opened. After the musical was first performed in Sydney, Australia at the Theatre Royal it went on a national tour of New Zealand and Australia. In these two places alone it was shown for eighteen months and sold out every single time.
A new production opened in Hamburg, Germany in March of 2006 and it continues to play there to sold out crowds. This show actually just sold it’s one millionth ticket. As if all of this success wasn’t enough there was even more to come. When the show opened at London’s Aldwynch Theatre it brought in eleven million dollars in advance ticket sales. After the show’s opening night the advance ticket sales to the show increased to be even more than they already were.
There is, predictively, a lot of wonderful music in the musical. Some of the songs include This Magic Moment, Wipe Out, and the infamous song (I’ve Had) The Time of My Life. There are fifty five times in the musical where music is played with thirty times being in the first act and twenty five being in the second act.
The cast of the show includes Hannah Vassallo as Baby, Martin Harvey as Johnny Castle, Nadia Coote as Penny Johnson (Johnny’s original dance partner), and fifteen other talented actors and actresses.
The writer of the show is Eleanor Bergstein who also wrote the movie. James Powell is the director but was also an actor for twelve years and appeared in the show Les Miserables. The choreographer for the amazing dance moves for the musical is Kate Champion.
The show is said to be ‘spectacular’ (Financial Times, Alastair Macauley), ‘magnificent’ (Mail on Sunday, Georgina Brown), and ‘the biggest live theatre sensation of all time (Observer, Polly Vernon)’. The fact that is has been sold out many, many times is proof enough that the show is, in fact, sensational and a must see.
There are various performances happening March 29, 2010 through October 23, 2010 with multiple price options, assisted performances including wheelchair access, help for people who are hard of hearing, and people with guide dogs, and a premium seating option. The show is currently being shown at Aldwych Theatre in Aldwych, London.
This show is definitely a must see show so book your tickets today!
There are so many musicals, comedies and plays to see in London’s West End Theatre district but what’s hot at the moment? What are the ‘must sees’ and most in demand? This guide talks you through what everyone is talking about and why they’re so unmissable.
When visiting London, the first question you need to ask yourself if whether you want to see a musical, comedy or play and the second question which you must ask yourself is which show to attend! Anything that you could wish to see is always playing in London’s West End. Just be sure to book your tickets ahead so you don’t miss the shows.
Even if you have seen a production of a Musical in another country, London’s West End can offer you another view of the same show. Many times the productions are varied enough that the show which you saw before is barely recognizable. If a new actress or singer is in the lead role of a production, the entire experience is altered into a fantastical one which will leave you delighted time after time. So be sure to check out what is available in London’s West End and book ahead. You don’t want to miss out on the show of the season.
So what’s hot in the West End right now? Here is our Guide to the Top London Theatre Shows. There are several Plays, Comedies and Musicals which you can enjoy while visiting London. Here are some of the amazing shows which you might want to catch this season:
Adrian Grant’s “Thriller Live” which pays homage to the late Michael Jackson. It is a live production that will make you remember the best of the “King of Pop’s” greatest hits. The music is perfection and the choreography is just what is needed to make this event the show of the year. Do not miss out.
Maurine Dallas Watkins’s “Chicago” staring Ruthie Henshall, Terra C MacLeod, Ian Kelsey, David Ganley and Jasna Ivir. It is one of the hits of the season which will leave you wanting more. The choreography by Ann Reinking is stunning. The cast is flawless and the costumes will take your breath away. It is one of the best productions of “Chicago” yet to date.
When it comes to Comedy you simply must catch Jason Moore’s “Avenue Q”. It is a fun and lively comedic show which everyone has loved from the start. “Avenue Q” is hip and young and the perfect thing to catch while visiting London’s West End.
If you wish to catch a play while visiting the hippest part of London’s best, then be sure to see Stephen Daldry’s “An Inspector Calls”. It is running at the Wyndham. This production reminds one of the days when a play had a special pleasure to it. This will make an evening in London’s West End the perfect night event.
Also playing is William Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night”. While you might have seen it elsewhere, if you’ve never seen it in London’s West End then you haven’t seen “Twelfth Night” at all. You simply must see this wonderful production of staring Richard Wilson, James Fleet, Richard McCabe, Nancy Carroll, Alexandra Gilbreath, Jo Stone-Fewings, Sam Alexander and Miltos Yerolemou. It is wonderful and a Classic to be enjoyed. It is playing currently at Duke of York’s. London and Duke of York’s is a perfect night out for you and that someone special.
At ticket vendors online there are often special offers to be had. Be sure to ask about the reduced prices for many productions. Also remember that booking ahead can often save you not only time, but money as well. Enjoy the night in London’s West End this season for the shows that will make your Thespian Heart soar!
London’s West End is home to many mesmirising, awe-inspiring, feel good or just down right hilarious theatre shows both musicals and comedies. This guide addresses the most popular or talked about shows and why you should go and see at least one of these!
Do you have a night of comedy or musical theatre in mind to spend some time with friends or family? Do you want to know what’s hot in the west end entertainment and theatre scene? Then read this guide to the top London theater shows.
* Sister Act
Deloris Van Cartier, a popular disco diva finds herself in protective custody within the walls of a convent. Although not happy to be there at first, Deloris finds that she has a greater mission to reform a rundown neighborhood and save the voices of the sisters, she risks blowing her cover. Includes musical scores created by Academy Award Winner Alen Menkin and based from 1992 film starring Whoopi Goldberg. Cast includes Sheila Hancock, Patina Miller, Chris Jarmen, Ian Lavender, and more.
* War Horse
This is the story of a boy who refused to give up on his childhood horse, which has been shipped off to serve on both sides of World War. Therefore, as the boy sets off to search for his beloved horse, the scenes come alive before you as complex mechanics are used to create strong visualization with the centre puppets of the show.
* Mama Mia
Mama Mia is starring Hannah Robertson, Tanya Robb, Lucy Miller, Joanna Monro, and more. As a daughter daydreams of her love and huge white wedding, her single mum Donna, a spirited woman in her forties remembers her carefree times and even the careless nights she spent in her youth. She longs for a better life, and tells her tell while you hear her reminiscing to more than 20 of the best known songs by ABBA, including Money, Money, Money; Dancing Queen, Knowing Me Knowing You, and more.
Featured at the Piccadilly Theatre, Grease is everything you missed in high school and it is set to a musical setting. Grease features songs including Sandy and Greased Lightnin’, Hopelessly Devoted To You, You’re the One that I Want, and more. Grease is starring Noel Sullivan, Siobhan Dillon, and more
One of the most successful musicals of all time within the London vicinity, Wicked includes a musical display of the relationship of the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good Witch. Wicked is based off of the original Wizard of Oz movie. Wicked stars include Alexia Khadime, Diane Pinkington, Oliver Tompsett, Harriet Thorpe and more.
* Billy Elliot Musical
In this musical tell, Billy uses the money his father intended to for his boxing lessons on a ballet class. Despite being the only male student on the ballet, Billy continues to secretly take this class until his father discovers his secret. His father forbids Billy to continue to take ballet lessons, but by this time Billy’s ballet teacher has already discovered his talent and enrolls him in a school for talented dancing students. The Billy Elliot Musical is starring Fox Jackson-Keen, Tom Holland, Tanner Plueger, Brad Wilson and Joanna Riding, and more.
Starring Ruth Henshall, Jasna Ivir, Terra C. MacLeod, Ian Kelsey and David Ganley, Chicago is about Roxie Hart who dreams of the big time of fame and fortune. Roxie Hart does reach seeing her dream come true, but it’s a bitter-sweet occurrence as she is caught for killing her lover. Does Roxie get away with murder and enjoy her fame? Find out what happens by seeing the musical Chicago.
* Avenue Q
Avenue Q is starring Paul Spicer, Delroy Atkinson, Jacqueline Tate, Christopher Fry, Cassidy Janson, Jason Moore and Rachel Jerram. This “Pant Wettingly Funny” musical addresses serious issues including racism, being gay, internet porn, dating, and finding your purpose in life by combining a hilarious set of humans and puppets. Avenue Q is an adventure of fun, frolicking and a contagious adventure.
John Hopkins, Stephen Critchlow, Natalia Walter, and Stephan Ventura are the key comedic stars in 39 steps. This “unstageable thriller” makes 150 roles come alive from famous film scenes of Alfred Hitchcock. 39 Steps includes famous scenes from Escape on the Fourth Bridge, the First Theatrical Bi-Plane Crash, and the Flying Scotsman, and Death Defying finale at the London Palladium.
* The Little Dog Laughed
The Little Dog Laughed is starring Gemma Arterton, Rupert Friend, Tamsin Grieg, Jamie Lloyd, and Harry Lloyd. In this Tony Award Winning play of Douglas Carter Beane’s, this UK prepiere is about a handsome film actor who is coming out of the closet, while his agent, a ballsy and tough character, doesn’t approve of him being so bold. The handsome actor falls in love with the rent boy who already has a girlfriend. You can find out where this love triangle leads to by seeing The Little Dog Laughed.
So now all that remains is to decide which to see!
A day trip or weekend away in London is not complete without a trip to the musicals of the West End but finding these tickets can be daunting and not to mention expensive. There are ways to find cheap London theatre tickets though with trustworthy vendors offering deals and special offers online.
Live entertainment has been a long-standing entertainment tradition and what better city to enjoy these venues than London? A night at the theatre gives spectators a chance to have live interaction with their entertainment. The biggest misconception of theatre is that it is an expensive night out. Considering current family activity trends, such as theme parks and shopping excursions, theatre has actually become one of the less expensive alternatives.
Finding tickets for London’s West End Theatre and Musicals can be a daunting challenge. With numerous websites offering deals and apparently low price tickets online and even more vendors throughout the streets of Leicester Square, it is understandably difficult to find a good deal. Here’s our guide for how to find tickets at an affordable, low price but from a safe and secure vendor.
The Leicester Square Box Office makes planning a night of London theatre easy and inexpensive. Twenty years of excellent customer service makes this company stand out. The ticket prices are designed to fit any budget and the choices of West End productions to choose from include all theatrical preferences. The LSBO offers tickets to many popular, contemporary titles.
Tickets bought in advance, can often be significantly reduced. These tickets aren’t just for seats up in the gods or with restricted views. Seats in the stalls or grand circle are readily available. Musicals with offers at the moment feature Jersey Boys, Avenue Q, We Will Rock You and Chicago.
Among the popular titles offered range from the elusive Les Miserables to children’s favorite The Lion King. Hairspray, Mama Mia! and Stomp are fun musicals everyone in the family will love. If you are looking for a night away from the kids for a date night, Dreamboats and Petticoats dazzles with musical stylings from the sixties. If you want more comedy in your theatre experience, Avenue Q is a must-see. Puppets and people combine in a frenzy of comedic spins on current social issues. Tony Award-winning The Little Dog Laughed features an amazing cast telling the story of a gay man pressured to stay quiet about his lifestyle while in the midst of a crazy love triangle.
Movie enthusiasts get the best of both worlds when their favorite films hit the stage. Dirty Dancing is stunning on stage and Sister Act engages theatre-goers with fantastic musical numbers. Known for its popularity on both stage and screen, Grease! is always a fan favorite. Bringing teens and young adults to see the live version of their favorite films, such as Legally Blonde gives them a sense of personal connection and adds to the family theatre experience.
With The Leicester Square Box Office, it is easy to find cheap London theatre tickets. The LSBO is a member of STAR, the Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers and offers quality services.
For those of us trapped in the often stressful, monotonous-at-best present day, nothing can spark more enthusiasm than a trip back to the past—especially when that past is set in the roaring 20’s, the era of prohibition in which unabashed debauchery and reckless nihilism soared to new heights. Chicago: The Musical is just such a blast from the past, offering boundless drama which begins from the very opening scene.
The drama begins in Act One in which Roxie Hart murders her lover, Fred Casely, and subsequently attempts to blame her bumbling husband Amos for the slaughter (though she is soon found out and arrested). It’s in the cell blocks that we are treated to the infamous musical number “Cell Block Tango,” in which several other murderesses sing of their crimes. Other characters introduced are Matron “Mama” Morton, a corrupt prison warden with a favors-exchange system via which she provides mutual services to prisoners, and Velma Kelly, a vaudevillian charged with the double homicide of her adulterous husband and back-stabbing sister. Velma and Roxie soon find themselves in a struggle to win the limelight of fame which Roxie ultimately wins when she manages to steal Velma’s lawyer, the renowned Billy Flynn, who spins the truth concerning the murder of Fred Casely (“They Both Reached for the Gun”) and makes Roxie the toast of Chicago at the expense of Velma Kelly’s now-obsolete name. Roxie turns down Velma’s passionate request to recreate her former sister act (“I Can’t Do it Alone”), only to find that the latest crime to make headlines has all but caused Roxie’s name to vanish from the public eye as well.
Act two remains just as sordid an affair: Roxie has decided to earn her fame back by announcing a false pregnancy to the press, who begin to fawn over her once again. Amos is delighted by the unexpected news but we eventually learn that he is severely disheartened by the failure of anyone—including his own wife, who is supposedly pregnant with his child—to notice him (“Mr. Cellophane”). Meanwhile, Billy Flynn calms Roxie’s growing anxiety about her upcoming trial with the witty number “Razzle Dazzle,” assuring her that everything will turn out fine as long as a proper show is put on for the jury. As promised, Roxie is acquitted, but yet another crime of passion makes news and the blood-thirsty press abandons Roxie’s story in pursuit of it. Billy Flynn also leaves, having done his part in the case. Amos is the only remaining character in Roxie’s now-vacant life, and even he is driven away by the news that there is, in fact, no baby. With nothing left of their former fame, Roxie and Velma team up to begin a new double act that shakes Chicago down to the core all over again.
The entertainment value of the story alone is reason enough to see this show, but for those who want additional motivation, here are five reasons to go see Chicago: The Musical:
1. The Music
Guaranteed to keep you interested, each number in Chicago is based on a traditional vaudeville act; many of them are even inspired by particular famous vaudeville performers, such as Judy Garland and Mae West. The score itself was composed by John Kander, winner of the Tony, Laurence Olivier, Emmy, and Grammy Awards.
2. The Awards
Chicago: The Musical itself has been the winner of a number of awards, including eleven Tony nominations in the 1976 original run of the show and a Tony in 1997, the Drama Desk Awards, Outer circle Awards, and Drama League Award. An Academy Award-winning film adaptation of the musical was released to much critical acclaim in 2002.
3. The Choreography
The musical Chicago has become synonymous with its choreography, engineered by praised choreographer Bob Fosse, who himself has won eight Tony Awards for his work. Of particular interest here are the numbers “Razzle Dazzle,” “Cell Block Tango,” and “We Both Reached for the Gun.”
4. The Staging
Sets, design, choreography, and sheer visual spectacle for this production are unparalleled and the show often breaks the fourth wall, drawing the audience into its visceral world.
5. The Idea
If nothing about musicals enraptures you, then the intellectual fodder laid out by the themes in the story of Chicago: The Musical is enough to get anyone’s mind working. Chicago isn’t shy about pointing out how glamorized criminals become once they enter the public eye, nor does it refrain from the central theme that people everywhere are absolutely in love with scandal, no matter how depraved.