Your Guide to London Theatreland
Where is Theatreland?
Visit Theatreland in London and you can enjoy some of the most famous plays, concerts and shows in some of the most well known theatres and entertainment venues in the world! With famous venues that include the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, Royal Opera House, Donmar Warehouse, London Palladium and Her Majesty’s Theatre, you’ll never be bored in the evening. With other first class tourist areas such as Leicester Square, Covent Garden and Oxford Street really close by, you’ll always have something to do – day or night! Theatreland is situated in the congestion charging zone and right in the heart of zone 1 of the London Underground (with Covent Garden and Leicester Square tube stations serving the area), with surrounding areas including Soho, Strand and Mayfair. For amusement, shows, entertainment and enjoyment Theatreland cannot be beaten, so make sure you don’t miss this fantastic part of London!
History of Theatreland
Theatreland’s history is a collection of histories of the numerous theatres and venues that lie within its boundaries. The area is a longstanding part of the capital city and many of the theatres that stand today can be dated back to the Victorian and Edwardian eras. You will see evidence of these periods in the stunning architecture in the area, including the beautiful columns at the Lyceum Theatre and several other examples of neo-classical, Victorian and Romanesque interiors and exteriors.
The history of theatre in London dates back to 1576 when the first playhouse was built in Shoreditch. Since then, theatre has been a huge part of London, and the first West End (or Theatreland) theatre was opened in 1663 on Drury Lane. That theatre was named the Theatre Royal and it stood as London’s premier theatre for the next few centuries until Theatreland began to develop at speed in the 19th Century. It was during this time that new theatres were built, many of which still stand today, and the West End was truly born.
Building continued throughout the 20th Century with modern theatres such as the Barbican being built outside of the traditional home of the theatre in the West End. Today the West End and Theatreland is still not only the spiritual home of theatre, but its main commercial area too, with all of the big budget shows enjoying long successful runs in the area. With many of the buildings enjoying listed status the area will continue to thrive as a hub for the theatre world, and will continue in its rightful place as home of London theatre!
The Positives of Theatreland
When you visit Theatreland there are so many positives that you’ll really love it! You could not ask for better entertainment as the selection of theatres, such as the Criterion and Theatre Royal Drury Lane, carry all of the major shows, and mean that you’ll be spoilt for choice. The Royal Opera House and English National Opera are great places for you to enjoy a cultural evening out, and whatever you do you’ll have a huge selection of bars and restaurants adding to your evening’s enjoyment. You’ll also have a number of shops in the area, so you really do have a bit of everything! As if all that wasn’t enough, the location of Theatreland is amazing too, right in the heart of the action and very close to, or lying within, major tourist spots such as Oxford Street, Leicester Square, Soho and Covent Garden. When you combine everything it has to offer, Theatreland is an amazing place that you really should explore!
Need to Know Theatreland
It’s hard to list negative aspects of Theatreland: the few that exist are outweighed by the positive side of the area. One of the biggest things you’ll find is the amount of people that move through the area, day and night. As it is home to the theatre and entertainment, Theatreland is especially busy during the evening as thousands flock to see the latest stage shows. So, if you were hoping for quiet evenings strolling around and taking in the scenery, Theatreland probably isn’t for you – but that’s not what the area is about anyway! Again, there is the issue of traffic congestion, but you really don’t need to drive as you can walk to a number of neighbouring areas, and the tube and bus links in Theatreland allow you to get to wherever you want to go in quick time. Weighing everything up, the only thing that you should stop you coming to Theatreland is if you’re expecting peace and quiet and a slow paced environment. Theatreland is a place of excitement and entertainment and is one area that should not be missed!
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