London has a thriving theatre scene. A trip to London is a chance to take in ballet, opera, hit plays and musicals at London's West End theatres before they open on Broadway. Here is some trivia regarding some of Broadway's longest running shows.
Did you know:
- Cats opened in London on May 11, 1981 and on Broadway on October 7, 1982?
- The Phantom of the Opera opened on October 9, 1986 and on Broadway on January 26, 1988
- War Horse opened on Broadway on April 14, 2011, but it has been running in London since April 3, 2009?
Backstage tours are the perfect add-on to enhance the experience.
At The Royal Opera House groups can enjoy a 1-1/2 hour Backstage tour covering its history and providing an up close view of costumes, sets, and backstage technology. After the tour, they can enjoy afternoon tea in Paul Hamlyn Hall. Productions coming up include Romeo and Juliet (ballet), The Importance of Being Earnest, and, to delight families, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Children 8 years and over are welcome on the backstage tour that is fully accessible for wheelchair users.
The London Palladium offers 2-hour tours on select Fridays. Afternoon tea is available. (Sinatra is currently playing.)
Of course, any tour of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre is an opportunity to learn about its most famous playwright, William Shakespeare. The tour traces the history of the theatre, which opened in 1599. International groups will be pleased to know that tour are also available in French, German, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Dutch, Russian, Romanian, Polish, Greek, Hungarian, and Czech.
An interactive exhibit provides a glimpse into his life, historical London, and the colourful theatre district of his time. For groups with children, there is a special Family Trail highlighting exhibits of interest to families.
Productions coming up include Much Ado About Nothing, Richard II, and Macbeth (in Cantonese).
Here is a virtual tour of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre.
For help in planing your trip to London, consult Cvent's London, UK Meeting planning guide.
Photo Credit: Chris