Who can resist a night out at the theatre? Or splurge and take in several over a weekend by attending afternoon performances as well. Staying in one of the hotels near Covent Garden makes this easy since all the popular theatres in London West End theatreland are within walking distance.
The hardest part is choosing! The range of musicals and drama is extensive and there is something for every taste. All are brilliant, award winning and have had outstanding reviews. Book early is the recommendation, although there can be last minute seats available for most shows.
If you have children in tow, Matilda the Musical at The Cambridge Theatre and The Lion King at the Lyceum are the perfect answers. Children and adults alike enjoy the story of the little girl who discovers a special power and decides it is time to revolt while the Lion King brings Disney’s film to life. Or try the sheer power of Stomp at The Ambassadors theatre.
Fancy a comedy? The Book of Mormon at the Prince of Wales theatre is a hilarious romp involving two young missionaries trying to convert Africa, amid people more concerned about issues of survival. Located at the Prince of Wales Theatre in Coventry Street, Covent Garden it is different, and laughter is guaranteed – after all, this is a play that was devised by the creators of South Park! Equally funny is the musical Dirty Rotten Scoundrels at the Savoy Theatre where two Riviera based con-artists try to swindle $50,000 out of wealthy women – but have they met their match this time?
Only a few minutes from hotels near Covent Garden, over at the Fortune Theatre; the Woman in Black creates a very different atmosphere. Dark and brooding, it is a horrifying tale of a mysterious spectre haunting a small English town just before children die. While at Wyndham’s Theatre; the play King Charles III involves the accession of a new king and problems with the press.
Take in love and romance with Mamma Mia at the Novello Theatre or Shakespeare in Love at the Nowell Coward Theatre. Both have already stood the test of time and are highly popular productions. The foot tapping music of ABBA combines with the story of Donna and the three possible fathers of her daughter while Shakespeare is struggling to find his amenuensis when he comes across a young lady who wants to go on the stage, but cannot for she is a woman. Their adventures bring the world of Shakespeare vividly to life as their love mirrors that of Romeo and Juliet. But will the end be as sad?
Tear jerking, heart rending – no one can leave War Horse or Les Miserables unmoved. These are two of the most powerful, thought provoking dramas to hit the London stage for many years. Over at Queens Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue, The lyrical beauty of Fantine’s singing as she tries to earn money to pay for her little daughter or Jean Valjean demanding “Who Am I?” is positively stunning. A love story combined with a tale of suffering, endurance and redemption, with memorable songs like One Day More; this is now the World’s longest running musical – and it is easy to see why. While the tale of a horse and its former owner amid the horrors of the First World War leaves you speechless as you leave the New London Theatre in Drury Lane, only a few minutes from hotels near Covent Garden such as the finest of all, Regency House Hotel.