Category Archives: London theatre breaks

London theatre breaks

London Theatre Breaks generally include show tickets, hotel and maybe rail travel included for people coming up to London.

Theatre breaks can be an economical alternative to longer trips further afield, or useful additions to see you through the months in between, and London theatre packages also make thoughtful gifts.

LINK: ** Book London Theatre Breaks Packages with Show and Hotel **

Contents
Theatre Breaks by Coach
Love Never Dies London Theatre Breaks
7 Best London Theatre Breaks
Summer Theatre Breaks
Theatre breaks midweek
London breaks with theatre show and hotel
London Weekend Breaks – Shadowlands

London Theatre Breaks generally include show tickets, hotel and maybe rail travel included for people coming up to London.

Theatre breaks can be an economical alternative to longer trips further afield, or useful additions to see you through the months in between, and London theatre packages also make thoughtful gifts.

LINK: ** Book London Theatre Breaks Packages with Show and Hotel **

Theatre Breaks by Coach


I tend to bang on about rail travel as preferable to driving, but theatre breaks by coach offer a different kind of experience altogether. People over a certain age may well have bad memories of coach journeys back in the bad old days when there were no onboard facilities, long uncomfortable journeys around bendy trunk roads with groups of badly behaved people and children. I know I do. But modern coaches have air conditioning, plush comfortable seating, traffic news by radio and sat nav, personal entertainment and are a fast and relaxing way to travel hundreds of miles from city centre to city centre.

When you arrive in London on a theatre break by coach, you are not left to yourself to find the hotel and the theatre because you are part of a coach party who are all going to the same show and you usually get picked up outside the theatre by the coach which then drives you all directly to the hotel after the show. That can make the whole stopover a lot more manageable for some people.

Theatre Breaks by Coach - Theatre Breaks Magazine

Theatre Breaks by Coach - Theatre Breaks Magazine

Another thing I’m really excited about being able to offer now that we have Coach Theatre Breaks available through the Magazine Readers Offers is the opportunity to book a theatre break for one. Yes, there is a single room supplement to cover the extra hotel costs, but it’s a lot better than being confronted with a booking form that asks you to select the number of tickets required starting at two! And if you go on a coach trip to London’s West End as a single person then you have the perfect choice as to whether you want to keep yourself to yourself or socialise a bit with other people who are coming from the same town as yourself and will be around at the hotel and on the coach journey home again after having seen the same show.

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Love Never Dies London Theatre Breaks

Love Never Dies

By the time many people read this the free tickets competition will be over, so I’ll write about why I think you might like to consider Love Never Dies theatre breaks anyway.

I guess you may have already seen The Phantom of The Opera ? The most successful piece of live entertainment ever, it’s been on long enough. Or maybe your parents enjoyed it thirty years ago when Michael Crawford played the Phantom. Well Love Never Dies is a continuation of the story, but with completely new twists. The scene is set ten years after the incident at the Paris Opera House, and the Phantom is now presiding over a huge entertainment complex at Coney Island, New York. He manages to manipulate Christine and Raoul into sailing across the Atlantic and into his lair. But there’s much more than that…

Love Never Dies

Some of the music in Love Never Dies comes from the operetta genre, some from light entertainment and some even from a rock background. This is the fusion which Andrew Lloyd Webber does so well. The staging, sets and costumes are magnificent, so you really do see a big musical theatre event up there on the big stage. This is certainly not one of your small cast and minimalist aesthetics plays, like many even in the West End, not that there’s anything wrong with that. Ramin Karimloo and Sierra Boggess are both star quality singers in the lead roles and it’s nice to hear the full orchestra getting a proper work out.

Did I mention the free tickets?

Love Never Dies Tickets Competition

One pair of top price tickets have been donated. That’s worth around £180 normally. Now, you’d need to be able to get to the London Adelphi Theatre for tomorrow night, Saturday 9th October 2010. So if you are in London anyway, and can clear out all of your prior engagements to be free then you’d do well to nip over and quickly enter the simple competition on the Love Never Dies blog. The odds are not against you!

Here’s the link again… www.loveneverdiesphantom.co.uk

Love Never Dies Theatre Breaks

If you don’t have easy access to the capital then buying London theatre breaks packages with the tickets and convenient hotel room plus optional discount rail travel is nearly always the best way to go.

adelphi - love never dies

Other London Theatre Breaks to see West End Musicals

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7 Best London Theatre Breaks

London Theatre Breaks

London Theatre breaks involve short breaks to London to see a top West End show and stay in a smart hotel close to London theatreland. Top tickets to the most popular shows are hard to get hold of, especially for a Saturday night or close to holidays but the hotel and theatre packages hold block tickets in reserve so it’s often the best way to secure the dates you want and also make sure you don’t have to worry about getting back home again after a great theatre night out. Theatre breaks can also be extended to include discount rail fare from any UK railway station, and arriving in London by train is a very sensible plan by the way, and also London attractions such as the London Eye, Thames river trips, Madame Tussaud’s etc. If you’re one of those people who always like to know where you are going to be eating you can get a good deal booking pre-theatre restaurant meal at the same time too.

** check Theatre breaks prices for your dates and show**

Here is a selection of 7 from the current top musicals on offer:

Les Miserables Theatre Breaks

Les Miserables Les Miserables (or Les Miz) has remained one of the most popular London theatre breaks after becoming the longest running musical with a 25 years unbroken run. This spectacular musical show with a highly emotional score tells of the epic story of Jean Val Jean, an ex-convict who could not escape his past, all against the background of turmoil sweeping through 19th century France.

Sales of tickets for Les Miserables went up by 46 per cent after Susan Boyle sang I Dreamed a Dream in the first round of Britain’s Got Talent.

Grease West End Theatre Breaks

Grease

“Grease is the word” Come on, haven’t you always wanted to get up and sing like Sandy or Danny? The songs are so familiar that with a Grease theatre break in London, you know exactly what kind of fun you’re going to get. The super line up for the West End staging makes sure this is the most professionally stunning production of Grease you’ve ever seen.

Oliver!

“Can I have some more please?” Oliver the musical is the famous Lionel Bart staging from the Oliver Twist story by Dickens. Jodie Prenger the leading lady confounded sceptics by holding down the part she won in a TV competion and will continue to delight audiences with her powerful voice and dedication to the hard West End lifestyle well into 2010. The part of Fagin has been played by big names Rowan Atkinson and Omid Djali and after December 14th is taken over by Griff Rhys Jones. Legendry classic musical songs such as “Food glorious food”, “Consider yourself” and “You’ve got to pick a pocket or two” are all part of the timeless Oliver theatre breaks experience.

Mamma Mia!

mammamiatheatrebreaks Did you see the movie with Meryl Streep? I loved it. This is the stage musical the film was based on and they do turn the inside of the theatre into a fabulous sunny Greek island. It’s both funny and fun. Mamma Mia theatre breaks with the enormous feel good factor are great for parties, groups, couples young and old and if you do drag somebody along who thinks they dislike Abba songs they still end up having a brilliant time.

Priscilla Queen of the Desert

Another musical that has its origins in a film of the same name, Priscilla Queen of the Desert on stage has taken on a life of its own. After years of success in Australia, Priscilla finally arrived on the London West End scene in spring 2009 with Jason Donavon and Tony Sheldon. The costumes and sets are completely mad and Stephen Fry said “It’s one of the most fantastic evenings I’ve ever had in a theatre. It’s just simply infectious.”

Phantom of The Opera

phantom-theatrebreaksinlondon

The Phantom of The Opera is another very long running musical which relates more towards the classical side of musical theatre, having superbly visual gothic scenes and a big soaring orchestral musical score. Worth seeing more than once, Phantom of the Opera theatre breaks are appreciated for anniversaries and smart city breaks. With the impending launch of an unusual sequel musical, called “Love Never Dies“, there is likely to be more interest in the Phantom than ever.

Dirty Dancing

Nobody seems to be able to explain quite why Dirty Dancing theatre breaks attract such enthusiastic devotees, but Saturday night tickets are always scarce and the glitzy young people who do turn up are usually all set for a big night out. You have to be impressed by spectacular dancing and expect to get caught up in the music and romance.

** check Theatre breaks prices for your dates and show**

Other Theatre breaks in London

Of course there are plenty of other choices for theatre breaks in London if none of these top musicals are exactly your cup of tea. How could I leave out “We Will Rock You” for example, the only British rock musical currently in the West End ( but not for long we hope ). And if it’s a good play that does more for you than musicals then there’s an opportunity to see Lenny Henry’s powerful Othello, The Shawshank Redemption and of course long term favourites such as The Mousetrap and Woman in Black. For information about the logistics of planning London theatre breaks you can also browse the theatre breaks magazine or join the theatre breaks facebook page.

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Summer Theatre Breaks

London Theatre Breaks in Summer

Do you head for the beach in the summer or enjoy the city life at its best? Are you a Sun lizard or a culture vulture? Newquay rave parties or London theatre breaks? Well I like both really, always have done.
theatrebreaksinsummer Wide open skies, summer breezes and casual attire are not only to be found at the coast though. Modern London is full of outdoor seating, cafe terraces and the numerous parks and green spaces are appreciated by people of all ages just enjoying the warm sunshine, with city workers on their lunch breaks joining the tourists, families and digital nomads.

** book London Theatre Breaks **

Riverside Theatre Breaks

I know I tend to bang on about the riverside quite a lot but that’s because it’s such a cool place to be and nearly everything happens within a half mile or so or the Thames in London. The Thames is big, and it’s tidal and salty.

riversidetheatrebreaks

The National Theatre is on the Southbank for example, next to the Royal Festival Hall within a short riverside stroll of London’s Tate Modern and Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. Maritime Greenwich is always worth a visit and so is the London Bridge, Borough Market, County Hall and Tower Bridge area. You’re in a huge metropolis but Ice-creams, picnics and sitting on the sea wall are the things to do, as well as people watching and Pimms.

Theatreland in Summer

In the theatreland area of London, around Soho, you can have a restaurant meal or drinks served at a little pavement table, just like in Paris or Barcelona and the choice of cuisine is actually wider. For the real night birds there’s at least one street where the bars and clubs stay open all night. You can easily get away from all the fuss if you want though, just dive down a side street and walk ten minutes and you will often find yourself in a quiet mews area with with a leafy square and shady benches.

Top Shows for Summer Theatre Breaks

dirtydancingtheatrebreaks

Musical Theatre Breaks

London theatre break deals combine top tickets to one of the big West end musicals or a play, with at least one night’s hotel stay plus any optional extras such as discount rail fare, London Eye reservation etc.

So the first question is which show to choose. The chances are, you already have something in mind that you’ve always wanted to see on the London stage such as Les Miserables, Grease, Chicago or Phantom of The Opera. Perhaps the new Oliver or Wicked.

There are a couple of less well known show you could also pick, such as Sister Act ready for the summer season, and Spring Awakening which has been throughly recommended. For something that’s already been proven elsewhere you might go for Priscilla the musical, if you like that sort of thing – and who doesn’t?

Favourite musicals are probably going to be Hairspray, We Will Rock You, Dirty Dancing and Jersey Boys.

West End Plays

dramaplaystheatrebreaks

Musicals dominate the West End but there are a few more plays to choose from this year, although usually for shorter runs so it depends more on your possible dates for drama theatre breaks. Look out for short runs of Alan Bennet plays, Harold Pinter, Shakespeare’s Othello with Lenny Henry and Samual Becket’s Godot.

Calendar Girls runs until September 19th 2009

while Woman in Black, The 39 Steps and The Mousetrap seem to run and run forever.

Check Theatre Breaks Availability

Select the show and choose a date first, then enter the hotel details and whether or not you want to include discount rail travel.

When you press “Search” you’ll be taken to the results on the Show and Stay site, from which you can make further searches if necessary until the perfect package is made up for you. Or use the following link to begin a new search from London Theatre Breaks:

** book London Theatre Breaks **

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Theatre breaks midweek

Theatre breaks in London for those who can get away midweek

For theatre lovers and those who enjoy short theatre breaks in London there are some seriously amazing bargains to be had in the New Year, summer and autumn seasons for people like myself who are not tied to regular 9 to 5 weekday working hours. Even if you have to book one day’s annual leave on a Wednesday in February, a Friday afternoon during the schools summer term or something like that it will be well worth it, because one of the best online theatre breaks booking sites is often offering special cheap deals for hotel theatre breaks with the show on a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday Thursday or Friday. You won’t believe it….. sometimes one night in a three star *** London hotel is free with a range of top theatre show tickets!

** Book Best Priced Theatre Breaks in London with Hotel in  2010 **

I know it seems strange. It’s well known that city hotels are mostly used by the business community travelling on expenses, and therefore have over capacity at weekends. So you would think that the bargains would be for weekend theatre breaks, but apparently not. London is not quite the same as Norwich or Basingstoke, people come here from all over the world and also from the UK for a variety of reasons. Intercity trains are packed on Friday evenings as weekly commuters migrate to and from the capital. Office workers, teachers and civil servants are required to work weekdays with precious annual leave saved up mostly for a couple of weeks in the sun, and restricted logistically by school holidays.

Theatre breaks prince edward

So if there’s any way you can possibly slip away on a Tuesday afternoon with the next morning off, take a flexi-day, or if you are one of the growing band of self-employed perhaps, choosing your own hours and working from home for instance, then you are in a position to save hundreds yes hundreds of pounds by booking a midweek theatre break in London with hotel and show.

There were eleven great musical shows and two plays which qualified for the summer 2008 offer.

All you had to do to get the free London hotel deals was to keep within the 13 qualifying shows, choose a weekday before September 7th 2008 and then pick one of the first hotels that comes up, with the golden “offer hotel” badge.\" width= then start looking forward to your best ever summer theatre break in London.

Below is a description of the previous July offer which has now been improved upon with the free hotel stay in August See further down for the £10 upgrade to four star hotel offer

The great news is the number and class of hotels that are available for this July free theatre tickets offer:

* Holiday Inn Bloomsbury
* Holiday Inn Regents Park
* Intercontinental Park Lane
* Crowne Plaza St James
* Millennium Gloucester
* Millennium Baileys

So all you have to do is choose a combination of one from the six top hotels and one from the seven great shows and book for a weekday between now and the end of July ( dates excluded are 20th June, and 14th,15th and 16th July) – which means the first week or two of school holidays are included in the cheap theatre break offer!

By taking advantage of the special summer deal you can get the cost of a London theatre break down to as little as £70.50 per person for a posh central London hotel with free theatre tickets and full breakfast included.

Below is a description of the previous New Year offer which ran until March 2008, but the upgrade for £10 is also valid for the August 2008 free hotel offer :

You wouldn’t have been able to get the free hotel offers for the week beginning February 11th because that was half term for most schools, but the following week seemed to suit others, although just a few shows are restricted that week as well. The best thing to do is to get out your calendar, consult your partner or family and then visit the booking site and see what you can come away with. My advice would be to probably avoid the Friday matinees if you want to see the top stars because they seem to arrange for the understudy to have a go for some of these performances. You should be warned if that’s the case anyway.

H****
Try a four star central London hotel for £10!

theatre breaks Charing Cross Hotel
The theatre breaks free hotel offer is for a three star hotel in London midweek which is bound to be lovely, but you can also upgrade to a four star for only £10. I recently stayed in a four star hotel myself so I made this list of what extra luxury you might expect from one:

* Enormous comfortable beds – sleep perpendicular to your partner!
* Luxury bathroom – endless hot water with top quality foam and big fluffy towels
* Free breakfast ad lib – real coffee with abundant food of all types in smart surroundings
* access to sitting rooms, bars, views, gardens and terraces
* WiFi, cable TV, mini bar etc
* If you forget your toothbrush, comb, shower cap or anything like that don’t worry there’s one for you already there.
*interesting gadgets to play with, like a whirlpool, desk hairdryer or trouser press.

I suppose what I’m saying is that the show tickets are the main reason for, but not the only component of London theatre breaks. With the amazing show and hotel offers it’s going to be affordable to add little extras like a ride on the London Eye, pre-theatre meals or entrance to the Tutankhamun exhibition in Greenwich. Remember, the offer ran until mid March for theatre breaks midweek bookings as long as the show was before March 14th 2008, excluding the week beginning February 11th.

**Book London Theatre Breaks with show and hotel in 2010**

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London breaks with theatre show and hotel

London breaks

What is it about the grand hotels and theatres that makes London breaks ever popular? Something more than just the convenience I’m sure. Old fashioned style, social aspiration, romance maybe? The anonymous but attentive service combined with an expectation that everything you could possibly need will be there ready and waiting, or easily conjured up via room service. Modern life is relentless and for the most part let’s be honest, it can consist of following a series of rather dull routines so you don’t have to be an art intellectual or wealthy bon vivant to feel attracted by the idea of just one or two nights break in a smart central London hotel as a complete escape from the same old four walls, kitchen, relatives and other humdrum at home.

The West End

It’s not that I have any illusions as to what the image of London conjures up in many people’s minds. It’s a great big, busy, noisy city where the citizens are often tired and frazzled from over-stimulation, pressure and travel. They’d like a break too! London as a capital is nothing like Paris, Edinburgh or Cardiff and there can be resentment that so much political, financial and cultural leadership seems to be assumed to begin and end in London. That’s unfortunate in some ways, but then the sheer weight of population, history and connection gives London a momentum that cannot be ignored. Regional theatre may be more innovative in its creativity, and perhaps more intimate in the performance but it’s only when a show makes it to the West End that the bigger name stars can be attracted and the investment comes in for the stunning sets and longer runs. It’s the same story for music, fine art, dance etc. So people come on short breaks to London to see the best shows and soak up the West End atmosphere.

London Theatreland

London breaks in theatreland street name signs

You see, London’s theatreland is quite a small area in the central part of the city which is a stamping ground not just for Londoners (many of whom may not go there for months on end) but for all people from every city, village and nation. On any day, weekend or midweek the culture vulture crowds are present in large numbers, ambling about in groups or couples, plenty of singles too. The lights and buzz hold an attraction for young people as much as the distant familiarity does for people who have been visiting London occasionally for one reason or another over decades. And much of theatreland has not been spoilt. That’s because the classic old theatre buildings themselves have been classed as grade two listed, both exterior and interior. So even when there is a poor year for theatre bookings, as happens from time to time, they cannot be pulled down or turned over for a completely different use.

London Map

This first map is just to give an idea of how London breaks up into distinct geographical areas with the red central area so much smaller than the great connurbation where the majority of Londoners live and work.

London breaks map

And theatreland is only a part of that centre. Arrival by intercity train for London hotel theatre and train breaks will mean a short journey from one of the famous mainline rail terminals into the centre and then you may not need to venture outside again or set foot in a tube or taxi until it’s time to return home, as long as you book a hotel which is inside the zone.

Getting to the Theatres

Here’s the street map of London Theatreland clearly showing each of the Theatres by name so it’s easy to find your way around. The same goes for the Hotels and restaurants which can be booked for pre-theatre meals, often very reasonably as part of a show, hotel and travel deal.
London Breaks theatre street map

Top Musicals

  1. Oliver!
  2. Phantom of the Opera
  3. Dirty Dancing
  4. Joseph
  5. Billy Elliot
  6. Sound Of Music
  7. Hairspray
  8. Lion King
  9. We Will Rock You
  10. Grease
  11. Jersey Boys
  12. Blood Brothers
  13. Mamma Mia!
  14. Les Miserables

Plays

* God of Carnage by Yasmina Reza (ART!) with Ralph Fiennes, Tamsin Greig (Black Books, Green Wing, Love soup and Debbie Aldridge from The Archers)

* The Mousetrap by Agatha Christie still going strong decades later – who dunnit?

* The Vortex by Noel Coward with Felicity Kendal

Pre-Theatre Dining on London Breaks

Overall, London simply has a wider selection of fine international restaurants than any other world city. You can pre book as part of a London theatre and hotel breaks package, or just wander round for a short while until you are tempted. So ‘bon appetit’ and enjoy your capital.

Stumble London Breaks Stumble It!

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London Weekend Breaks – Shadowlands


Following on from the idea of theatre breaks in London, weekend breaks are slightly trickier when you work all through week and need to unwind fast. My suggestion therefore is to sneak away as early as possible on the Friday, arriving in plenty of time to get settled in at the hotel and then go out and see something light and uplifting such as one of the popular comedies or musicals. Spamalot, Chicago, Lord of the Rings, Cabaret, Mama Mia, Fiddler on the roof etcetera. You can book the musical, hotel and train tickets all in one go to save a packet. Shadowlands Then on the Saturday afternoon or evening, if you are a true theatre lover then why not take in a second show, perhaps a serious play this time. Just opened for example, is Shadowlands.

Shadowlands at the Wyndhams

Shadowlands is a serious play about the life of author C.S.Lewis and his relationship as an older man with Joy Davidman, an American poet. It’s an extraordinary love story which is both moving and intense, somewhat tragic but also uplifting on some level. The film version won a BAFTA and the West End play is a rare treat, showing only from now until the 15th of December, 2007 having opened on the 3rd of October.

Wyndhams TheatreWyndhams Theatre is one of the grandest of the old West End theatres, which are all grade II listed buildings, both exterior and interior, on the Charing Cross Road, near Leicester Square tube station.

Guardian Review:

“I found myself more moved this time round than by the 1989 production: partly because it is rare now to find a West End play that addresses the issue of mortality, and partly because of the quality of the acting.
…this is a play about a man whose Christian faith is severely tested”

Blogger Lloyd Davis enjoyed it enough to twitter about it afterwards:

Lloyd is home having thoroughly enjoyed Shadowlands at the Wyndham’s.

Matinee theatre performances

The main performance is at 7.30pm but there are matinees at 2.30pm on Thursdays and Saturdays. If one were to book the Saturday matinee in advance therefore, or else chance being able to pick up same day tickets, then that might fit in perfectly. A full programme of theatre, comfort and sightseeing to make truly stimulating London weekend breaks with Saturday night still free for relaxing around town and Sunday afternoon to begin making a leisurely path homewards.

Theatre Breaks

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Thanks for reading Andy Roberts articles about London theatre breaks on the DARnet Blog