Equally as renowned as New York’s Broadway Theater District, London’s West End is widely acclaimed for its award-winning theater productions and vast variety of shows and musicals. Seeing a ‘West End Show’ is a popular pastime for tourists and locals alike, with regular performances of a number of world renowned titles like Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats, The Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables, Blood Brothers and many award-winning film actors from both England and the United States choosing to take to the West End stages. Recent hits like The Lion King, Mamma Mia! and We Will Rock You, have helped increase West End visitors to over 13 million annual show-watchers.
The West End has a long history with theater - the first venue opened on Drury Lane back in 1663 and today the area boasts around 40 theaters, many housed in beautifully preserved Victorian houses. Today the West End, sometimes referred to as ‘Theatreland’, spans the areas of Oxford Street, the Strand, Regent Street and Kingsway in Central London, with venues including the Theatre Royal, the area’s oldest theater; The Coliseum the largest in the capital with its 2,358 seats and the prestigious National Theater on Southbank. It’s an area that encompasses many of central London’s key attractions, shopping districts, restaurants and nightlife, making an evening show in the West End a popular finale to London tours.