London Theatre

During our visit to London it was really difficult to resist the offer of shows of West End Theatres. First, you are offered on the reception desk and then all the commercials are calling for your attention. And of course, they got me.

Show Guide

Rock of Ages – Shaftesbury Theatre

You can compare West End theatre in London with New York’s Broadway theatre, they are mainstream, commercial, professional and as this seeing a West End show is a common tourist activity in London.

Theatre Map

I have to mention here one of the first theatre in London, which is Globe Theatre associated with William Shakespeare. It was built in 1599 by Shakespeare’s playing company, the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, and was destroyed by fire on 29 June 1613.

A modern reconstruction of the Globe, named “Shakespeare’s Globe”, opened in 1997 approximately 750 feet (230 m) from the site of the original theatre.

Les Miserables

The lengths of West End shows depend on ticket sales. Some of the longest runs were Les Misérables, Cats, The Phantom of the Opera. The longest-running show in the world, which has been showing since 1952, is Agatha Christie play The Mousetrap.

But now back to my experience.

The show offer was really huge, but my final selection was done from: Billy Elliot (unfortunatelly the most far theatre), Singing in the Rain (they had not tickets for that evening) and Wizard of Oz (I just read the story for the first time), and the last one won.

The entrance to London Palladium

The interior of the theatre

The performance itself was perfect, beautiful, professional, I enjoyed it a lot! However, what I noticed some small signs showing the difference between Prague culture and London one. In Prague you go to the theatre dressed well in the evening dress (except tourist, which I understand, but it is a pitty), you put your coats and jackets to the cloakroom where it is taken care of by a person, you don’t have to keep them all the time on your knees during the show. On break you have your drink in glass, the wine in goblet, and for sure you don’t abandon your garbage to the floor.

The roof, the Wicked Witch came over my head through the hole there, and also the Flying Monkey …

In Prague at the end of the show there is an applause, which last as long as the theatre-goer is satisfied with the performance and the cast goes to the stage as long as is asked, in London after short applause the curtian is pulled down and people left, leaving behind them floor full of plastic pots from drinks or ice-creams, empty packs from sweets etc.

The Safety and Final Curtain

I know that the trend is that Prague culture have been closing to the London one, not an opposite way, but I am really sorry for this.

Palace Theatre Entrance

But to a better end, after the show on front of the theatre stood a line of bike-riksha’s ringing their bells and it would be really enjoyable to close your evening with this experience.

Riksha’s in front of the theatre

Despite what was written above, I plan to go to London and visit another theatre show again, I really would love to see Billy Elliot this time, hoping it will be still on, as it is from May 11, 2005.

Victoria Palace with Billy Elliot

Just a half of the offer

Or would it be Wicked?

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. poppytump
    Dec 11, 2012 @ 15:57:37

    Always interesting to see England thro’ another persons eyes Katy…good or bad !
    I agree that it is a shame no-one seems to Dress Up for an evening at the theatre quite like they did in previous years … a sign of the times I guess. I still like to put on the Glitz when I can tho’ 😉


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