Enjoy an exciting cultural experience with London musicals in the West End District of London. The West End is home to over 40 performance houses that have been leaders in global entertainment since as far back as William Shakespeare. Today West End shows continue to set the benchmark for some of the biggest theatre productions and actors, making it truly a once in a lifetime experience.
What makes London Musicals so special?
The culture of London musicals and the West End scene is only rivalled by Broadway in New York, and yet they are both very different experiences. What makes London’s musical scene unique, you might be asking? For starters, London’s West End is home to some of the world’s most recognised, top-rated, and longest-running shows. Some of the most famous West End musicals include The Phantom of the Opera, The Lion King, Mamma Mia! and Les Misérables. No matter what type of theatre you are into, you’ll find West End musicals that showcase all genres like murder mystery, horror, romance, comedy, opera and dance, expertly performed by the biggest names in the game.
The four pillars of the best West End shows
When it comes to the theatre, 10 dominating elements allow a theatre production to be considered West End worthy. A strong presence and balance of characters, their relationships, the situations they find themselves in, the movement, voice, focus, tension, space, time, language, symbol, audience, mood and atmosphere must all be in perfect balance for it to stand the test of time. And the West End scene can be broken into 4 categories of production that nail all the elements.
- 1) West End plays: These are productions that are mainly vocal and dialogue-driven where very few musical performances will take place if any. Some of the most popular plays in this pillar are To Kill a Mockingbird and The Woman in Black.
- 2) West End Musicals: Shows where music and dance sequences are predominately used over dialogue to tell a story. Audiences will follow a storyline through emphatic utterances, lyrics and dance routines. My Fair Lady is one of many favourite London musicals in this category.
- 3) West End Opera: The West End opera scene is renowned the world over, as the district is home to some of the world’s most beloved opera houses like the Royal Opera House and the London Coliseum. Both these venues lend their spotlights to the biggest opera companies in London musicals, which include The Royal Opera and English National Opera.
- 4) West End Ballet: When you see West End shows that focus on ballet, you’ll enjoy a modern coming together of classical and contemporary styles. The London ballet scene is synonymous with having creative choreography and world-class productions featuring some of the world’s best ballet dancers like Julian Braunsweg and Zenaida Yanowsky.
The curtains have closed but the show is not over
You might be wondering what there is to do after going to the theatre in London. The answer is: Plenty. After the theatre in the West End, some popular bars and restaurants in the area end the night with a culinary performance. When heading from venue to venue with the cast, use a SIXT ride taxi or private ride service for your group and forget all transport worries; simply enjoy the best show the London musicals scene has to offer and the rest of the night out afterward.
Show-stopping venues that you’ll want to check out include:
- Tequila Mockingbird: This bar in Covent Garden has a well-known range of bespoke cocktail concoctions.
- The Leopard Bar: A top after-theatre and London musicals location just a short walk from the Apollo Victoria. It’s most popular for a celebration with its elegant champagne list.
- Circus: If you are looking for dinner and a show, after the show, head to Circus for its cabaret acts and theatrically served food menu.
- The Wild Monkey: A hidden gem and the perfect place to discuss the show, this bar focuses on the craft of mixology and the use of botanicals to further add to your sensory overload for the night.