As you can see from our Theatre & Arts section, we’re big fans of the West End here at TQS. People often ask us which show they should go and see and if we have any tips for planning for the perfect London theatre break, so we thought it was about time we put together a TQS guide.
What to see
From the Spice Girls to indie Irish folk, the Four Seasons to the French Revolution, London has a plethora of shows for all tastes and moods. So much so, it can often be hard to choose which one to plump for. We’ve seen them all and here are the top 5 shows we recommend (in no particular order):
Based on the Roald Dahl novel and with music & lyrics by Australian musical marvel Tim Minchin, Matilda is a magical new addition to the West End and is currently enjoying rave reviews from critics and the public alike. Top tip: The Cambridge Theatre release 16 tickets at a bargain price of £5 for 16-25 year olds for every performance. These must be collected in person (and only 1 per person) from the Theatre at 10am. Get there early!
2. The Book of Mormon
The Broadway smash written by South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker was being advertised on the tube and around London months before it even landed on stage. As a result, tickets can be hard to come by with them being snapped up months in advance. If you are lucky enough to get hold of some though, you’re in for a treat with one of the most hilarious (and not very politically correct) shows ever to grace the West End.
3. We Will Rock You
Ok, so We Will Rock You isn’t exactly a complex affair which will move you with its well-crafted narrative and nuance but it is 2 hours of Queen songs and really, what more could you want?
Remember that indie Irish folk we mentioned in the introduction? Once, based on a film of the same name, isn’t as big (or brash) as a lot of other productions on the West End stage right now but what it lacks in glitter and key changes it makes up for in beautiful storytelling and wonderful performances.
5. Les Miserables
Les Mis is one of the staples of the West End for a reason. A weighty story (based on the novel by Victor Hugo) coupled with fantastic music makes it a pretty safe bet. And no Russel Crowe in sight.
Let’s face it, West End tickets aren’t exactly cheap so saving money wherever possible will mean you can splurge on the seats to make sure you’re not sitting behind a pillar come curtains up (trust us, it’s awful). Whilst it may not be glamorous (in fact, it’s quite the opposite) we recommended getting the coach – BEAR WITH US – a return to London from almost anywhere in the country costs around £20-£30 if booked in advance. Now you’re listening.
Like shows, London offers accommodation for everyone’s taste. Whether you’re booking a theatre break with Hotel Direct or splashing out on a stay at one of the capital’s flagships such as The Four Seasons or The Oriental you’re sure to find something to meet your needs (and wallet). Travelling into London can easily be done by train, bus or plane. Skyscanner is an easy way to check when the cheapest flights are into London.
We hope you’ve find this guide useful, please let us know any of your top tips for the perfect theatre break in the comments below.