Home to London’s famous West End, there are dozens of theatres in Westminster, and many play some of the longest-running productions in the world. From musicals to plays, concerts and everything in between, there is something for everyone in London’s so-called “Theatreland.”
West End theatres include:
St Martin’s Theatre
Located on West Street, St Martin’s Theatre opened its doors in March 1916 and is run by Stephen Waley-Cohen.
The theatre has staged the production of the play The Mousetrap since 1974, making the production the longest-running play in the world.
The theatre’s very first production was Houp La!, an Edwardian musical comedy starring Gertie Millar, in 1916.
Several famous British actors have made appearances at the theatre, including Basil Rathbone and Henry Daniell.
Bars are located on each floor of the theatre, and guests can also purchase light snacks at one of the kiosk and bars.
Tickets to shows can be purchased online or at the box office.
Offering a seating capacity of 1099, the Queen’s Theatre is home to the classic musical Les Miserables.
The theatre’s first opened its doors in 1907 with the production of The Sugar Bowl by Madeleine Lucette Ryley. Architect W G R Sprague designed the theatre as part of a pair with the Gielgud Theatre.
Several well-known talents have made appearances at this historic theatre, including: Fred Astaire, Peggy Ashcroft, Stephen Fry, John Gielgud, Robert Donat, Nigel Havers, Kenneth Branagh, Jack Hawkins, Basil Rathbone, and more.
The theatre has four bars, and tickets can be purchased online or at the box office.
Victoria Palace Theatre
Located on Victoria Street, the Victoria Palace Theatre opened in 1911, and began as a small concert room above the Royal Standard Hotel stables.
The Royal Standard was demolished in 1910, and the current theatre was built in its place.
The theatre has hosted several notable productions, including: The Crazy Gang, Variety, High Society, Annie, The Little Foxes, and Windy City.
The theatre will be closed until October 2017, but tickets for Hamilton: An American Musical are on sale.
Opened in 1913, the Ambassadors Theatre is one of the smallest theatres in London’s West End, and was designed by W G R Sprague. Its first production was Panthea, a production by Monckton Hoffe. The show ran just 15 nights.
Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap ran at the theatre until 1952 when it transferred to St. Martin’s Theatre.
The Ambassadors has played host to several productions, including: Some Explicit Polaroids, Krapp’s Last Tape, The Vagina Monologues, Stones In His Pockets, and Spoonface Steinberg.
The theatre is located on West Street, and tickets can be purchased online, over the phone (020 7395 5405) or at the box office.
Apollo Victoria Theatre
The Apollo Victoria Theatre is on Shaftesbury Avenue, and opened its doors in 1901 with the production of The Belle of Bohemia. The theatre, designed by Lewin Sharp, hosted several successful productions, including Housemaster, Seagulls Over Sorrento, Boeing-Boeing, Separate Tables, Driving Miss Daisy, and Defending the Caveman.
The hit musical Wicked has been running at the theatre since 2006.
Bars are available on all floors, and tickets can be purchased in advance online.
Her Majesty’s Theatre
First built in 1705, Her Majesty’s Theatre is located on Haymarket, and was established by John Vanbrugh, the playwright and architect. Due to restrictions at the time, the theatre started out as an opera house, and ran more than 25 operas between 1711 and 1739.
The theatre that stands today was built in 1897 for Herbert Beerbohn Tree, the actor-manager who established the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Tree produced stunning productions of Shakespeare.
While the theatre has played host to several successful productions over the year, it has been home to The Phantom of the Opera since 1986.
Her Majesty Theatre is easily accessible via the Piccadilly Circus underground station, or by bus.
Theatre Royal, Drury Lane
The Theatre Royal, Drury Lane opened in 1660, and has been rebuilt three times since it opened its doors: 1674, 1794 and 1812. In its early days, the theatre was one of the only patent theatres in London, making it the leading theatre in town.
Several successful productions have been shown at Theatre Royal, including: Rose Marie, The Lord of the Rings, Miss Saigon, The Desert Song, Show Boat, and My Fair Lady.
The theatre is currently showing 42nd Street. Tickets can be purchased online or at the box office.
These are just a handful of the theatres in Westminster, which is home to dozens of West End theatres, including: Criterion Theatre, Adelphi Theatre, Strand Theatre, Phoenix Theatre, Prince Edward Theatre, New London Theatre and more.
In London’s Theatreland, there’s always something playing.