No trip to London is complete without visiting the theatre. London`s West End is a popular destination for those who want to see the greatest plays, musicals and theatre acts. It can be difficult to get tickets to the best shows, especially if you are trying to book on short notice. Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your trip.
Booking in Advance
Popular shows usually have long runs at the theatre and often accept bookings for dates that are several months away. If you have a strong desire to see a particular show, then booking well in advance through a ticket agent is the best option.
Be warned that many of the discount-ticket sellers have lots of hidden charges. The price advertised on the booking page may seem like a great deal, but when you come to pay you may be surprised to see a fee for using your chosen payment method and an additional fee for booking online. Some agencies charge customers extra to book over the telephone too. It pays to compare prices with a few different agencies until you find the best value.
If you want the flexibility of being able to simply travel to London and then pick a show to see when you arrive, then investing in a London Theatre Passport is a good idea. The choice of shows that you can see using the passport is limited, but you will get a discount of up to 50% on the face-value of the ticket, which is a deal that is hard to beat for last-minute bookings.
Choosing a Theatre
West End theatres are the most popular with tourists and theatre lovers alike, partly because of their central location and also because of the high calibre of shows which tend to appear there. The National Theatre, Palace Theatre and Curzon Theatre are all good choices for tourists that are looking for an entertaining night out. If you’re lucky enough to visit London while the weather is pleasant, then a trip to Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre in Westminster, which plays host to performances of classical works such as To Kill a Mockingbird, Lord of the Flies and Shakespeare`s plays will give you some treasured memories.
However, there are some good fringe theatres in London too. If you are interested in a more alternative theatre experience, then you may enjoy visiting some of the venues that are further away from Central London. These include the following:
Camden`s Theatro Technis
This theatre is just a short walk from Mornington Crescent station. It is located in a former church house and as such boasts higher ceilings and more space than a lot of other fringe theatres, offering a more luxurious experience. The venue is home to a range of experimental and artistic interpretive performances.
The Courtyard Theatre
Hoxton has a busy artistic scene and the Courtyard Theatre is a great example of this. The theatre features two performance spaces – a small studio with 80 seats and a main house with 150 seats. The small spaces mean that the performances are quite intimate and immersive. The performance calendar is quite varied and includes everything from Horror Festival inspired performances to challenging experimental pieces. Recently, the theatre hosted an adaptation of Steven Berkoff`s meditation on Kafka`s Metamorphosis to much critical acclaim.
There are few cultural experiences that can rival that of the London theatre. Whether you enjoy comedy, romance, classical plays, or musicals, the capital has something for you.