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Theatre in London - Tips & Comments
Theatre in London - Tips & Comments
Date: 04/01/02, updated on 10/02/04 (43 review reads)
Advantages: It's live, It gets you out of the house, It can surprise you
Disadvantages: Sometimes it can be pricey
THEATRE'S NOT FOR ME, THOUGH
Now, those of you who have read my opinions before know that I'm mad on theatre. But this was not always the case. I discovered the smell of grease paint when I went to college and landed a work placement on my local paper reviewing pantos after the arts writer fell ill. I used to think that theatres would be full of people who looked like Captain Peacock from Are You Being Served! The snobbery that I had supposed would be in evidence put me off. When I first went I could not get over how wrong I was. There are theatre snobs, sure but the rise in 'new' plays such as Rent and Mother Clap's Molly House has ensured that theatre has gained a young crowd to the stalls too.
I WANT TO GO... WHERE DO I START?
Well, apart from reading opinions by myself and monalipschitz, and Jill you mean! Seriously- here's some tips on where you can get info:
This is a great site which has reviews, competitions and also a discussion board where you can ask people things about a play and more often than not they will reply. Look out for special offers on the site. Often there are two for one offers. Recent examples include Rent and Chicago. You can subscribe for updates.
An excellent site which is easy to use. Again, reviews are here. There is also a link to purchase tickets. But - beware- it is a bit pricey!
The Evening Standard- has a brilliant lisitngs guide.
The Guardian- also has a great number of adverts- search for them at the back of the paper.
IT ALWAYS SEEMS EXPENSIVE
This is often a criticism aimed at theatre in London and it's true to a certain extent. But there are ways of getting your hands on cheaper tickets. Generally prices vary at the box offices between £15 and £42.50. But there are other avenues - here's just a few:
Before you cry- but it's expensive there. They have Deals of The Week. I have purchased Woman In Black tickets for £12.50 from ticketmaster and The Graduate tickets for £18.50. Go to the site- click on the icon that says deal of the week and subscribe to the newsletter. Then when the offers come in you will receive them by email.
Do not buy tickets from this site in general as they are expensive. Click on prizes and offers. I won tickets to see The Witches Of Eastwick and a friend won tickets to see Chicago. So it can happen! They also have two for one offers as mentioned above. Look at the link that says prizes and offers- there are loads. The Boston Marriage at The New Ambassadors is the latest two for one offer.
Half Price Ticket Booth, Leicester Square
Contary to popular belief this does exist. But people come out of Leicester Square like moths around lights see a booth and head for it. There are a few booths. But only one will offer you cheaper tickets. Head towards the Odeon Leicester Square. You will see a booth to your right. This a great place to go for tickets as they list the shows on a board so you can take your pick. I would advise that you get there for about 10am to get the show you want. The Lion King has never resorted to half price tickets as it has always been sold out. But I have bought Le
s Mis tickets here and Chicago.
LATEST OFFERS include- Joe Egg, Noises Off and Star Quality. Check the board before you buy.
WHAT DO I SEE?
My advice is dip your toe in and see what you like. For example if it's your first time to the theatre go and watch something universal like Blood Brothers. Then take it from there. So many people head for Mousetrap as their first play and end up being disappointed. Read reviews and see where a play is set, who is in it, etc.
MY TOP FIVE
I'm no expert but here's five plays that I have loved in London.
( 1 ) CHICAGO
Vibrant, sexy, toe tapping stuff. It is one of the best musicals on the circuit at the moment.
( 2 ) NOISES OFF
As farces go- this is one of the best as it is not afraid to poke fun at the very genre. Fast, frenetic and very funny. But more amusing if you like a good farce. Avoid if you're at a loss to what the fuss is all about.
( 3 ) BLOOD BROTHERS
Still going strong after all these years. If you liked the film Shirley Valentine, you will love this. Touching, honest and heartbreaking. A damn fine musical.
( 4 ) THE WOMAN IN BLACK
Scaring people in the stalls after 12 years. And with very good reason. The Woman In Black contains enough shocks to get you back into the theatre for some more.
( 5 ) PRIVATE LIVES
I'm cheating here as I haven't seen this yet. I'm going tomorrow! But I only have to say the words: Alan Rickman and know that I'm going to get value for money!
ALSO- WORTH SEEING
STONES IN HIS POCKETS
LAST MIN TIPS- STUDENTS
If you are a student - there are standbys available. Standbys are unsold tickets which are normally available on the day of the performance. If you want to check which show has the
m - get a copy of Time Out. I know that Blood Brothers and The Graduate offer excellent standby deals. But Time Out will give you a fuller list.
Theatre-going gets loads of bad press. But believe me - it can be done on the cheap. Some of the bigger shows like The Lion King are not cheap. But ask for a ticket for a birthday or treat yourself- I am! It is an 'event' show worthy of a Birthday/Christmas/Anniversary treat! Nothing beats good live theatre for me. And this is coming from somebody who used to watch TV non stop. Give yourself a treat and go and watch a live play. Then when you get home - join me and submit the review to dooyoo!
Thanks for reading this opinion.
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