What’s Doing in London’s West End Theatre District

Everybody’s Talking About ‘Harry Potter,’ ‘Hamilton,’ and ‘Jamie’

By Blaise Buckley on 15 February 2018
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LONDON—Along with Broadway, London’s West End is generally considered to be home to the most important English-language theater in the world.

While it might not be apparent at first blush, despite many similarities, the first-time West End theatergoer will find many nuanced differences and traditions at shows.

In general, it’s cheaper to attend shows in the West End compared to Broadway. It’s also easier to get tickets to hot shows given there is less of a demand here than in New York. It’s possible to get relatively inexpensive “day tickets” (similar to rush tickets on Broadway) on the morning of a performance as well as “returned tickets” two hours prior to curtain. Programs, such as a Playbill, aren’t free, as they are on Broadway, rather, they typically cost £4 ($5.53) and are larger, feel more substantial, and contain much more information and photos from a show than a Playbill.

Theatergoers at the London Palladium, one of London's largest theaters

Theatergoers at the London Palladium, one of London’s largest theaters

The intermission is called the interval in London and ushers sell ice cream at that time, much like what one finds at a ballpark in the States.

Once seated, don’t applaud when the show’s stars make their entrance (it’s considered boorish and American to boot) and keep in mind that London audiences are reticent to grant a standing ovation unless a performance has been particularly stellar.

Finally, here’s a round up of shows we’ve seen recently that you might enjoy.

Click here to continue to Page 2Harry Potter and Hamilton

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