Category Archives: Theatre breaks

Theatre breaks

Theatre breaks in London with West End musical tickets or plays and hotel stay included.

Enlightenment at Hampstead Theatre and Deathtrap
Theatre Breaks Magazine
Theatre Breaks Newsletter
New Year Theatre Breaks
Theatre Breaks
Theatre breaks midweek
Theatre breaks in London

Theatre breaks in London with West End musical tickets or plays and hotel stay included.

Enlightenment at Hampstead Theatre and Deathtrap

I’m going to see a play called “Enlightenment” at the Hampstead Theatre in London on Monday.

I don’t really know much about the play “Enlightenment” apart from the slightly worrying description “a mesmeric psychological thriller” and this trailer video here:

I’ll probably come back here and let you know how the play went next week.

Trailer videos for plays are becoming quite the thing, but I wonder how apt it is to make a very filmic piece of media to represent live theatre, which is a very different kind of thing entirely.

Another example is the poster campaign for Deathtrap , another thriller play but also a comedy, which includes showing the outdoor gravedigging scene on camera, when the live stage play takes place entirely indoors in one room.


Yes, that’s Simon Russel Beale, The current Home Secretary in Spooks, pushing the wheelbarrow with Jonathan Groff in it.

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Theatre Breaks Magazine

Theatre Breaks Magazine

A couple of months ago Linda and I quietly launched the Theatre Breaks Magazine to supplement the London Theatre Breaks blog. The idea is to have a place where there’s less of the news about individual theatre shows, extension dates and cast changes, but much more of the general information for people thinking about going on theatre breaks to London. Using the magazine metaphor with a WordPress magazine styled blog theme, we can distinguish between the more timely news orientated short posts on the blog, and the longer lasting, more in-depth advice and tips we are able to explore on the magazine. Underneath it’s still the industry standard WordPress platform of course, just being used for a slightly different purpose.

Theatre Breaks | Theatre Breaks Magazine

So far we’ve covered subjects such as how to get hold of your tickets, internet security, issues concerning motorists, theatre breaks with children, and a wide variety of things to do in London. Further answers to legitimate questions are building up into a Theatre Breaks FAQ.

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Theatre Breaks Newsletter

I just had a thought, which is that you might have read one of my posts here on DARnet about theatre breaks in London, thinking I’d be putting some special offers in here.

I don’t think I’ll be doing that here though, this is the DARnet blog about odds and ends related to distributed research, wikis, Andy Roberts music, epidemiology, CoPs, social objects, London, web tools and all sorts of randomness. A hotch potch of themes really, which is just way it’s evolved over the years.

If you *were* looking for the theatre breaks newsletter, (and it will become more and more worthwhile in the coming months), then that’s over on the theatre breaks blog where I’m an editor:


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New Year Theatre Breaks

New Year Theatre Breaks

Some people are very much caught up in all the preparations for December right now, but others are getting away with the New Year Theatre Breaks bargains.

Business users are using less hotel capacity at present, so that means more space for visitors to London on short UK theatre breaks and there are indeed many bargains to be had out there for the New Year if you book now.

Bargains available on Theatre Breaks in the New Year

One couple landed tickets for Woman in Black with a top hotel and breakfast for less than £70 each in March 2009, and they’re not the first to come away with New Year theatre breaks bargains after searching a few possible dates. Now you might not get that price for some of the shows like Hairspray, Jersey Boys or Dirty Dancing theatre breaks on a Saturday night, but the possibilities are definitely there if you are prepared to try a few different combinations. The secret as always is not to be tied to one particular date – which isn’t easy if you want to go out and celebrate a wedding anniversary for example. If you must have a specific date then you must, but you could always try asking your partner how they would feel about a big night out and stay over in London on the nearest Wednesday for once 🙂

Book Early for New Year Theatre Breaks

Don’t forget the advance rail fare is discounted by up to 40% if you choose to travel to London the sensible way.

** Search for New Year Theatre Breaks Bargains with show and hotel **

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Theatre Breaks

Theatre Breaks not for cutbacks

Having avoided traditional summer holidays the past two years, preferring to go abroad in the off seasons, I certainly won’t be cutting back on theatre breaks and other little weekends away or short breaks in the UK. Neither will hoards of other people up and down the country regardless of what the doom and gloom mongers would have us believe.

Aldwich Theatre breaks London

Some might be thinking twice about booking long haul trips to Oceana and Asia, granted, and the shopping trip to New York is looking decidedly passe but there’s never been a better time for squeezing in a little treat of a weekend, just the two of you, with a bit of style in London’s West End.

Hotel and Theatre Breaks in London

With the shrinking of the finance sector and slightly less demand for business trips to London, the big hotels have a few rooms going spare and these are being bought up by tour operators who can then offer even better value hotel and theatre breaks in London. The advantage of booking a hotel at the same time as your advance theatre tickets should be obvious really. To get the best out of a good night out at a top West End show you don’t want your shared elation to be instantly let down by a long and tiresome journey back with the night crowds. Instead, an after show drink in the hotel bar and a comfortable night allows the magic to continue though to the next day, with who knows what London has in store. Sightseeing, culture, chilling out on the river, fine dining – central London has it all with always more surprises, even if you only live in the Greater London area or home counties.

Theatre Breaks by Rail

theatre breaks by rail

Cars are practically useless in central London so it’s usually best to arrive by train. The extra fast east-coast line is proves increasingly tempting, with discerning citizens from Doncaster, York, Newcastle, Darlington, Leeds, Wakefield, Sheffield, Stoke able to arrive at Kings Cross London in just a couple of hours or less. It’s a great way to travel from Norwich, Exeter, Cardiff, Coventry, Manchester. Bung it all on the same booking transaction and you can save up to 40% on the advance rail fares.

Favourite London Theatre Shows

One or two musicals have closed recently and there are some interesting new ones coming up, but here is a selection which have become standard West End Favourites:

Les Miserables
Phantom of the Opera
Billy Elliot
We Will Rock You
Mamma Mia
Blood Brothers
Dirty Dancing

( for other shows try London Theatre Breaks )

New shows you can book theatre breaks for now:

Priscilla Queen of the Desert
Sister Act

Theatre breaks Booking tips

* Try to be flexible with your preferred dates, but if you fancy a Saturday night or even New Year’s Eve these are still worth checking.
* If you have two or three possible shows in mind then you get more hotel choice and overall cost possibilities.
* Weigh up hotel prices against location eg The Strand Palace is very convenient for most of Theatreland but Billy Elliot and Wicked are on at Victoria. Some of the best value hotels are near Kings Cross or South Kensington / Gloucester Road so you might need a London black cab after the show.
* Extra nights can be good value so see if you can possibly make time for a three night stay in London and make the most of your theatre breaks booking.

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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.

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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Theatre breaks in London

Ever thought about weekend theatre breaks in London?

**Book London theatre break tickets now, with hotel or travel and meal in any combination via DARnet through London Theatre Breaks**

It’s well known that in London we have lots of famous old theatres all around the Shaftesbury Avenue area of the West End ‘Theatreland’ as well as Drury Lane, Shakespeare’s Globe and the South Bank complex.
Ticket sales have struggled a bit in recent years, particularly during the Americans fear of flying after 9/11 in 2001. They were an important source of customers. The standard of some the shows dropped a bit too, with many of the great musicals being replaced by tribute band shows, but things are looking up again now.

Noel Coward

From February 2008, for example the great Noel Coward classic of “The Vortex” is playing at the Apollo Theatre in Shaftesbury Avenue. Felicity Kendal has been cast as Florence Lancaster.

Theatre Deals

Londoners themselves often don’t take advantage of the world class entertainment available in the capital, with out of town visitors making up the majority of theatre goers. The best plan is to arrive by train, plane or coach (never by car) and stay in a centrally located hotel so that getting back after the show isn’t an issue. It’s the central hotel which can add massively to the overall expense so that’s why a lot of people look for all inclusive package deal theatre breaks in London, or weekend deals, with just the cost of a restaurant meal or two to find after paying for the break in advance. Restaurants in theatreland are diverse and offer special pre-theatre menus for quite reasonable prices, so you can have a good night out in the area even if you don’t have show tickets for any particular evening. I often find myself wandering up from Charing Cross station and just following my nose, or else revisiting regular haunts. Specialist online theatre breaks sites seem to be better value than the regular newspaper and radio offers, telegraph, daily mail, and so on.

Off West End

For those who don’t mind venturing a little further afield than the traditional tourist venues, there are always the Theatre Bars in Islington, Theatre Royal Stratford East, and others mentioned in OffWestEnd where some more challenging, contemporary and economical performances may be found.

Book Theatre Breaks in London

For booking a show and hotel package deal, with or without discount rail travel I’ve found one site which seems to have the best selection available and also offers a best price guarantee:

Book London theatre tickets now, with hotel or travel and meal in any combination via DARnet through London Theatre Breaks.

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