15 Facts About London’s Theatre District!

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by AndyRobertsPhotos

No visit to London is complete without seeing a show in the theatre district. There is a huge variety of shows to choose from, but how do you know which show to pick? These interesting facts should help you.

Longest running play

The longest running play in London’s West End is The Mousetrap. This Agatha Christie mystery has been running for 59 years. In fact, St Martin’s Theatre is now advertising itself as ‘The home of The Mousetrap’. 

This is likely to remain London’s longest running play, as the next on the list – Les Miserable – has been running for 26 years. (http://londonist.com/2011/04/top-10-longest-running-london-theatre-shows.php)

Biggest theatre

A visit to the Coliseum Theatre is interesting whatever is on, as it is London’s biggest theatre. It seats 2,359. (http://www.eno.org/explore/about-eno/london-coliseum/london-coliseum.php)

Smallest theatre

If you want to experience something more intimate, the Etcetera Theatre has just 42 seats. That does not stop it from showing some excellent new plays. (http://www.etceteratheatre.com/index.php?id=1)

Oldest theatre

The Theatre Royal at Drury Lane can lay claim to being London’s oldest theatre. There have been theatre’s on the site since 1663. (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/europe/uk/london/9420168/Londons-oldest-theatres.html)

Newest theatre

Park Theatre is the newest theatre in London. This is due to open in late 2012. With support from actors such as Ian McKellan, this could become a big name in the theatre world. (http://parktheatre.co.uk/)

Most expensive production

The Lord of the Rings musical, which premiered in 2007 in London, cost around £25 million to produce. The 13-month run was one of the most expensive productions ever. (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-453877/Rampaging-Orcs-send-theatregoers-running-Lord-Rings-musical.html)

Biggest flop

Oscar Wilde: The Musical closed after just one night at the Shaw Theatre. The play, written by DJ Mike Read, also received terrible reviews. (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/3944431.stm)

Number of theatres

Visiting every theatre in London could take a long time. There are 120 theatres in London, showing a huge variety of plays, musicals, comedy and more. (http://www.london-hq.com/tag/london-theatres)

Most expensive tickets

This may not be the fact that many people want to know, but the most expensive theatre tickets in London are for Billy Elliot. The average tickets retails for £97.50. (http://www.thestage.co.uk/news/newsstory.php/35823/exclusive-top-priced-london-theatre-seats)

Most awarded musical

Matilda: The Musical won more Olivier awards than any other musical during its 2012 run. It won seven awards, including best musical. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-17721379)

Most awarded play

Nicholas Nickelby is the most successful non-musical play of all time, judging by awards. It won six Olivier awards in 1980, including Play of the Year. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-17721379)

Most successful actor

When you visit London, you should make sure you see a show featuring Judi Dench. She holds the record for most Olivier awards, with seven as an actress. (http://www.olivierawards.com/about/facts-and-trivia/)

Most successful composer

Andrew Lloyd Webber is the most successful composer in London theatre history. He has also been awarded seven Olivier awards for his various works. (http://www.andrewlloydwebber.com/about/awards/)

Oldest producing theatre

Most theatres in London receive productions from elsewhere. However, the oldest producing house is the Old Vic theatre. This opened in 1818. (http://www.oldvictheatre.com/about-the-old-vic/24-hour-plays-celebrity-gala/)

Most costume changes

Legally Blonde sees the main character change costume 19 times during the play. And almost every costume is pink! (http://www.legallyblondethemusical.co.uk/about/facts.php)

The London theatre district is one of the best established in the world. These facts show just how diverse the range of shows you can see in London are.

The Berkeley, a 5 star luxury hotel in Knightsbridge, is perfectly situated to most major London theatres making it the perfect hotel for exploring London’s theatre district. 

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