West End Musicals

West End Plays

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West End Stage Shows




West End Musicals

Musicals in London have always been a 'must have' for a night out in the west end.  We have cheap and discount tickets to top musicals in London including blockbuster stage shows like Billy Elliot, We Will Rock You and Wicked.  Offers are added daily so please check this page on a regular basis for discount musical tickets as they come on sale.

Musicals in London are always in high demand. West end musicals are now famous the world over and have been at the forefront of the global theatre scene for generations with blockbuster shows making their world premieres in the capital before being franchised and showcased around the world.

Since the 1990s, there has been a growing tendency for big star actors of both TV and film to play in west end productions such as Guys N Dolls, Blood Brothers, Chicago, Evita, Les Miserables and Phantom Of The Opera but it wasn't always like this as the London theatre scene has changed dramatically since it began in earnest almost 500 years ago.

Theatre in London started to flourish after the English Reformation period.. The first permanent public venue that showed plays was simply known as 'The Theatre', and was constructed way back in 1576 in Shoreditch, east London by James Burbage. It was soon joined by another venue called 'The Curtain, and. both venues are known to have been used by William Shakespeare's company. In 1599, all the timber from The Theatre was moved south of the river to Southwark, where it was used to build the original Globe Theatre in a new theatre district that was formed, beyond the control of the City corporation. These theatres were all closed in 1642 during the interregnum

The first west end theatre was known as Theatre Royal in Bridges Street and was designed by Thomas Killigrew and built on the site of the present Theatre Royal Drury Lane. . The Theatre Royal opened on 7 May 1663 but was unfortunately destroyed by a fire nine years later. It was then replaced by a new structure designed by Christopher Wren and renamed the Theatre Royal Drury Lane.

Just outside the west end, Saddlers Wells Theatre opened in Islington in north London on 3 June 1683. Taking its name from its founder Richard Saddler and monastic springs that were discovered on the site. it operated as a 'Musick House,' with live performances of opera; as it was not licensed to stage plays. In the west end of London, the Haymarket Theatre opened on December 29th 1720 on a site slightly north of its current location, and the Theatre Royal Covent Garden opened on December 7th 1732.

The Patent Theatre companies retained their duopoly on drama plays well into the 19th century, and all other theatres could perform only musical entertainments, but by the early 19th century, however entertainments known as 'music hall' became popular, and presenters found a loophole in the restrictions on non-patent theatres in the genre of melodrama.. Melodrama did not break the Patent Acts, as it was accompanied by music. Initially, these entertainments were presented in large halls, attached to public houses, but purpose-built theatres began to be establish themselves in the east end of London in both the Shoreditch and Whitechapel districts.

What has become the west end theatre district became established with the opening of many small theatres and halls, including the Adelphi Theatre in the Strand on 17th November 1806. South of the Thames, the Old Vic, opened on 11th May 1818, and the expansion of the west end theatre district started to gain pace with the 1843 Theatre's Act which relaxed the conditions for the performance of plays. The Strand gained another venue when the Vaudeville Theatre opened on 16th April 1870 and the next few decades saw the opening of many new theatres in the west end. The Criterion Theatre opened on Piccadilly Circus on 21th March 1874, and in 1881, two more venues appeared: the savoy Theatre in The Strand, which opened on October 10th and was built specifically to showcase the comic operas of Gilbert and Sullivan and was the first theatre to be lit by cooler, cleaner electric lights, and five days later the Comedy Theatre opened as the Royal Comedy Theatre on Panton Street but three years later later abbreviated its name to its current form The theatre building boom continued until about the time of the first World War.

During the 1950s and 1960s, many plays and musicals were produced in theatre clubs, in order to evade censorship that was then exercised by the office of Lord Chamberlain, and.the theatre's act in 1968 finally abolished censorship of the stage in the UK and since then both west end theatre shows and the sale of theatre tickets in London have flourished into the vast industry that we see today.

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