Theatre Shows in West London
The West End of London is not just a standard entertainment district, it is the very heart of Theatreland which has a global reputation. Only Broadway, in New York, rivals the West End for the number of theatres and the quality of the productions on offer. Although there are theatres in all parts of London, there is no other part of the capital which can compare to it. Successful regional productions sometimes transfer to the West End if they have been a hit, but more often than not a West End show is a unique thing which sets the standard for the rest of the country and even the world.
There are too many theatres in West London to be included in all but the most comprehensive of lists. The main ones are located around Shaftesbury Avenue, where you can find such notable examples as the Queen's Theatre and the Palace Theatre. You'll also find plenty of theatres close to Tottenham Court Road, just north of Trafalgar Square, and Haymarket where the famous Theatre Royal is located. The largest London theatre is also in West London. The London Palladium lies close to Oxford Circus and can hold larger crowds than any other auditorium. There are also much smaller stages in West London, where you are more likely to see intimate theatrical productions and experimental works. Try the Ambassadors or the Arts theatres, near to Leicester Square, for examples of these. West London also has an open air theatre which is situated in Hyde Park and which stages Shakespearian productions each summer.
Further to the west, there are also some regional theatres in the capital which are not generally considered to be a part of theatreland as they are not in the West End, but which are still worth a visit. The Questors Theatre is a community theatre in Ealing. There is also a theatre in Shepherd's Bush which has been converted from a former public library. Alternatively, the Lyric Theatre in Hammersmith is known for its eclectic productions at a modest price.
The range of theatrical productions in West London is fabulously diverse. If you think of musicals, then you may well associate them with Theatreland first and foremost. Musicals are the staple of the West End and there have been huge hits which have run for many years in this part of London. Indeed, some of them, like Les Miserables or Mamma Mia, are still going strong. Although there are plenty of choices for musical lovers in West London, that is far from the only type of offering.
In any given season, there will be serious plays in the middle of runs. Shakespeare is always represented somewhere in the West End, but you may have to look a bit more carefully to find other classic playwrights, like Marlowe or Johnson. Smaller theatres tend to cater for popular twentieth century writers like Pinter or Beckett. Up-and-coming writers do sometimes find spaces in the West End, too. There is always room for contemporary plays which cover recent political events and provide a degree of social commentary.
Along with musicals and serious dramas, there is usually a comedy or two to be found. These are sometimes farces and sometimes combine music with comedy. Theatregoers tastes tend to change over the years, so producers are frequently looking to put on something novel that will delight as well as entertain. These days you don't get variety, which is usually a series of short acts one after the other. However, some theatres stage standup comedy shows occasionally and these tend to have four or five comedians on the same bill. For genuine variety, it is probably better to head to a nightclub which puts on cabaret productions.
If you are lucky enough to work for a company in the West London business area, you are doing yourself a disservice if you don't indulge yourself with a trip to the theatre from time to time!