The West End Theatres

The West End Theatres (98)

Although London is a city with a huge offer in shows in its own right, the West End, given the enormous density of venues per square metres to be found there, has traditionally been the theatre area. Some people even refer to the area as Theatreland.

This authentic London Broadway made up of 40 theatres dazzles the spectator with buildings with Victorian or art deco touches fronted by colourful porches that advertise shows of all kinds, although generally speaking of a more commercial nature.

Some of the theatres, for example the Theatre Royal Drury Lane and the Theatre Royal Haymarket, are part of the city’s historical and architectural heritage, although they are real exceptions, since the district was devastated during the bombardments of the Second World War.

The nerve centre of the area’s theatre scene is, without doubt, Shaftesbury Avenue, in which we can find the Apollo, the Gielgud and the Lyric theatres. However, the area of influence also covers mainly Haymarket, Covent Garden and Charing Cross Road.

Although there is a great variety, the truth of the matter is that the main attraction offered by these theatres are the musicals. Mamma mia!, Les Miserables and Chicago are just some of the titles that every year attract thousands of spectators to the West End box offices. 

We should also add that the musical scene has a great local hero: the composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, author of shows as well known as Cats, Evita or Jesus Christ Superstar. Some of his successes have continued on the billing for years without stopping. This is the case of The Phantom of the Opera, which premiered in 1986 in Her Majesty’s Theatre in Haymarket and is still running. The show, which has been exported to more than 20 different countries, has been seen by more than 80 million people and has taken more money at the box office worldwide than films such as Titanic or Star Wars.

On this lines, another show we would like to mention is The Mousetrap, the great thriller by Agatha Christie based on the novel of the same title. It premiered in the Ambassadors on the 25th of November 1952 and moved to the neighbouring St. Martin’s venue in 1974 without missing a single performance. And with more than 21,000 performances in more than 50 years behind it, it is the longest-running uninterrupted work in the world. 

A group of people meet in a remote spot in the English countryside and, naturally, one of them is murdered. More than 50 years have gone by and the theatre still fills up to try to find out who the murderer is.

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