St Jame’s Park
Imperial War Musuem
The West End theatres represent the various venues located in the heart of London from Shaftesbury Avenue to Aldwych. Those West End theatres are situated in the heart of the City of Westminster and are often referred as the Theatreland, because of about forty top venues placed close to one another. Although there are many other London top attractions, catching a west end show is definitely a must when visiting the capital. It is said that there are over 13 millions attendees a year, with those numbers rising each year and with more and more famous actors taking part in the London stage.
- About West End Theatres
- Longest playing shows
- Oxford street and Soho Theatres(Palladium, Soho, Prince Edward, Piccadilly)
- Shaftesbury Avenue Theatres(Lyric, Apollo, Gielgud, Queen’s, Palace, Shaftesbury )
- West Side Theatres(Criterion, Prince of Wales, Leicester, Comedy, Cinema Haymarket, Haymarket, Her Majesty’s, Trafalgar Studios, Playhouse)
- Charring Cross Theatres(Dominion, Phoenix, Wyndhams)
- Upper Saint Martin’s Lane Theatres(Donmar Warehouse, Cambridge, Ambassadors, Arts, Noel Coward Square, Garrick, London Coliseum)
- East Side Theatres(New London, Royal Opera House, Fortune, Drury Lane, Vaudeville, Savoy, Lyceum, Duchess, Novello, Aldwych, Peacock)
- West End Theatres photographs
About West End Theatres
There are only two places in the world that are famous for their theatres: New York’s Broadway district and London’s West End. Therefore if you are looking to watch a show that is being running for ages or are looking for the latest sensation, then the Westminster’s Theatreland district is definitely the way forward. This area can be defined by Oxford Street to the north, Kingsway to the east, the Strand to the south, and Regent Street to the west. Inside of this central rectangle there are some streets more famous for their theatres, including the Shaftesbury Avenue running from Piccadilly Circus to New Oxford, Charring Cross and Upper Saint Martin’s Lane from Trafalgar Square to Oxford, the Strand and finally Aldwych bordering Covent Garden. In all of those West End Theatres we may assure you the your will have a great entertainment night from great musicals to classic or excellent comedy performances.
Most of the theatres in the West End are located in buildings of great character and some feature grand neo-classical, Romanesque, or Victorian façades with luxurious, detailed interior design and decoration
Longest playing shows
The West End Theatreland is blessed by having some of the longest playing shows in the word. The all time winner is Agatha Christie famous play (non-musical) The Mousetrap which been showing since 1952. As for the longest running musical in West End history the great Les Misérables took the first place, overtaking Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats, which closed in 2002 after running for 8,949 performances in 21 years.
The Longest playing shows in the west end include:
- The Mousetrap, Agatha Christie
- Les Misérables, Victor Hugo
- The Phantom of the Opera, Andrew Lloyd Webber
- Blood Brothers, Willy Russell’s
- Cats, Andrew Lloyd Webber
Oxford street and Soho Theatres
Located on the northern part of the Theatre Land, and sometimes consider more of a shopping paradise then an entertainment district, this area still offers a various array of Theatres. From the London Palladium near Oxford Circus, to the Piccadilly Theatre situated not far from Piccadilly Circus as its name would suggest, and other theatres in the heart of Soho such as Soho and Prince Edward theatres.
- Soho Theatre
- Prince Edward Theatre, home to the Jersey Boys
- Piccadilly Theatre, home to Grease
The Shaftesbury Avenue is perhaps the mostly known of all the West End Theatre streets. Running from Piccadilly Circus in the West to New Oxford in the North East it offers many excellent venues including
the Lyric, Apollo, Gielgud, Queen’s, Palace and the Shaftesbury.
- Lyric Theatre, home to Thriller – Live
- Apollo Theatre, home to Wicked
- Gielgud Theatre, home to The Umbrellas of Cherbourg
- Queen’s Theatre, home to Les Misérables
- Palace Theatre, home to Priscilla Queen of The Desert
- Shaftesbury Theatre, home to Derren Brown: Svengali
West Side Theatres
The West Side Theatres are all the various venues located West of Charring Cross and South of Piccadilly. Those include areas around the famous Leicester Square, Trafalgar Square and Haymarket Street.
- Criterion Theatre, home to The 39 Steps
- Prince of Wales Theatre, home to Mamma Mia!
- Leicester Theatre
- Comedy Theatre, home to The Children’s Hour
- Cinema Haymarket Theatre
- Haymarket Theatre
- Her Majesty’s Theatre, home to The Phantom of the Opera
- Trafalgar Studios Theatre, home to End of the Rainbow
- Playhouse Theatre, home to Dreamboats and Petticoats
Charring Cross Theatres
Charring Cross street which changes its names to Tottenham Court Road toward the north is another famous street for some of West End top theatres including the Dominion, the Phoenix and Wyndhams.
- Dominion Theatre, home to We Will Rock You
- Phoenix Theatre, home to Blood Brothers
- Wyndhams Theatre, home to Clybourne Park
Upper Saint Martin’s Lane Theatres
Next to Charring Cross is a smaller street but a very popular locations for some great West End shows, with theatres such as the London Coliseum and Garrick towards the South and the St Martin’s Theatre, Cambridge and Donmar Warehouse more to the North.
- Donmar Warehouse Theatre
- Cambridge Theatre, home to Chicago
- The St Martin’s Theatre Theatre (Ambassadors), home to The Mousetrap
- Arts Theatre, home to Woody Sez
- Noel Coward Square Theatre, home to Million Dollar Quartet
- Duke of York Theatre, home to Ghost Stories
- London Coliseum Theatre
- Garrick Theatre, home to The Hurly Burly Show
East Side Theatres
Finally our last West End region are the various theatres located to the East, those next to Covent Garden. Some of the most famous include the Vaudeville and Savoy on Strand street and Duchess and Novello on the famous circular Aldwych street.
- New London Theatre, home to War Horse
- Royal Opera House Theatre
- Fortune Theatre, home to The Woman in Black
- Drury Lane Theatre
- Vaudeville Theatre, home to In a Forest, Dark and Deep
- Savoy Theatre, home to Legally Blonde The Musical
- Lyceum Theatre, home to The Lion King
- Duchess Theatre, home to Sign of the Times
- Novello Theatre, home to Betty Blue Eyes
- Aldwych Theatre, home to Dirty Dancing
- Peacock Theatre
West End Photographs
This is the second part of the West End Theatres article witht the top 20 venues as selected by our Your Best London Guest photographer.
Ambassadors Theatre, current show: Stomp, capacity: 408
Apollo, current show: Blithe Spirit, capacity: 796
Cambridge Theatre, current show: Chicago, capacity: 1231
Criterion Theatre, current show: The 39 Steps, capacity: 588
Duke of York’s
Duke of York’s Theatre, current show: Ghost Stories, capacity: 640
Garrick Theatre, current show: The Hurly Burly show, capacity: 656
Gielgud Theatre, current show: The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, capacity: 937
Her Majesty’s Theatre, current show: The Phantom of the Opera, capacity: 1216
Lyceum Theatre, current show: The Lion King, capacity: 2100
Noël Coward Theatre, current show: Million Dollar Quartet, capacity: 872
Novello Theatre, current show: Betty Blue Eyes, capacity: 1050
Palace Theatre, current show: Priscilla Queen of The Desert, capacity: 1400
Phoenix Theatre, current show: Blood Brothers, capacity: 1012
Queen’s Theatre, current show: Les Misérables, capacity: 989
St Martin’s Theatre, current show: The Mousetrap, capacity: 550
Theatre Royal Drury Lane, current show: Shrek the Musical, capacity: 2196
Vaudeville Theatre, current show: In a Forest, Dark and Deep, capacity: 690
Wyndham’s Theatre, current show: Clybourne Park, capacity: 759
There are over 40 theatres located in London’s West End Theatreland, offering some of the most spectacular shows of the English speaking world. Those venues are mostly situated around the main Theatres street such as Shaftesbury Avenue, Charring Cross, Uppers Saint Martin Lane and Aldwych street.
Following our previous articles on the best sights and hotels in Covent Garden comes the interactive map. This Your Best London flash map covers the top sights, hotels, shops, restaurants, theatres, restaurants, pubs, cafes and clubs of the central London neighbourhood of Covent Garden. Moreover we bring you some of the best places to shop including the Covent Garden Market, famous boutiques and some of the key pedestrian shopping streets such as Shorts Gardens, Floral and Neal Street. We also cover Covent Garden’s top Restaurants and pubs such as the Rule and the Lamb & Flag, two of London’s oldest institutions. Finally a theatre section, as Covent Garden’s is mostly known for its world class shows and theatres.