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West End Theater Attire

yankeefan7
Broadway Legend
joined:4/14/12
Broadway Legend
joined:
4/14/12
West End Theater Attire#1
Posted: 4/25/12 at 11:12pm
I will be going to London in May and will see a couple of shows with my wife and daughters. Having never been to the theatre in London, I was wondering how people dressed for the performances. I used to wear jacket and tie all the time to Broadway but today people are much more casual so I don't wear tie any longer. Does anybody know the "proper attire" in London, don't want to look out of place. Thanks for any advice.
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ChenoKahn
Broadway Star
joined:6/12/11
Broadway Star
joined:
6/12/11
West End Theater Attire#2
Posted: 4/25/12 at 11:15pm
I imagine it's the same as Broadway and the people on the West End board could answer your question.
nasty_khakis
Broadway Legend
joined:3/15/07
Broadway Legend
joined:
3/15/07
West End Theater Attire#2
Posted: 4/25/12 at 11:18pm
It's the same, but London in general is far more "dressy" than New York. People do not wear sweat pants in public (and yes, I've seen people in sweats at Broadway shows). But honestly I've worn jeans and a sweater every time I've seen a West End show and felt fine.
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fashionguru_23
Broadway Legend
joined:4/21/08
Broadway Legend
joined:
4/21/08
West End Theater Attire#3
Posted: 4/26/12 at 12:29am
I'd have to say that if you wear a what you described, along with the others, you will be fine.

I noticed a few years ago, after being in New York, London, and Toronto (the 3 leads in theatre production) all around the same time, that Toronto was the most classy in way of dress/outfits. London was next, and New York was last. I think that it was because I was there in the summer, and there were a lot of tourists, and I will agree I have seen people in sweatpants on Broadway.
"The 54th Street[theatre] had a rep as. . .where old musicals went to die." -Smaxie
allant
Swing
joined:8/15/11
Swing
joined:
8/15/11
West End Theater Attire#4
Posted: 4/26/12 at 2:10am
Yankeefan - dressy casual would be absolutely fine. I was in London last August, and will be going back next month. I saw little difference between the West End and Broadway dress. For quite some time, unless it's an opening night, casual, sometimes TOO casual has become the norm. Gosh, there have even been times, in my dressy casual attire, that I've actually felt OVERdressed next to the tee-shirts with slogans, shorts, flip-flops, etc.

One thing I CAN tell you to prepare for is the heat. The West End version of air-conditioning is not quite what we're used to on Broadway. I saw "Ghost" at the Picadilly Theater and "Love Never Dies" at the Adelphi. In both theaters, the auditorium was aflutter with fans and swooshing playbills. But, that was in August. Perhaps May is different.

Have a good time!
yankeefan7
Broadway Legend
joined:4/14/12
Broadway Legend
joined:
4/14/12
West End Theater Attire#5
Posted: 4/26/12 at 7:15am
allant - Thanks for the information. I guess business casual will probably be fine. I appreciate the tip about air conditioning. Will be in Paris before going to London and going to the ballet, I will wear a tie and jacket for that evening. BTW - guess my age is showing but hate seeing people being dressed so casual at shows, this is not the movies - lol
DeNada
Broadway Star
joined:7/7/07
Broadway Star
joined:
7/7/07
West End Theater Attire#6
Posted: 4/26/12 at 7:37am
As a Londoner I just thought I'd echo what everyone has said in saying whatever you want is pretty much fine. You may see "posher" dress in places like the National Theatre or the ballet/opera but that reflects the generally older audience at these places.

In May it's unlikely to be hot enough to really cause you any problems. After a long time of no rain it's been very wet recently so make sure you have a coat or umbrella and prepare for it to be surprisingly chilly!
redmustang
Broadway Star
joined:5/14/03
Broadway Star
joined:
5/14/03
West End Theater Attire#7
Posted: 4/26/12 at 4:18pm
I really don't mind what people wear to the theatre as long as they are covered. Shorts in summer, sweatshirts, sweatpants are ok by me. It's the patrons who wear halter tops or short-shorts or reek of perfume or drag in bags of shopping or bring their lunch along or yak all during the show or continually kick the back of my seat or are in and out of the aisle 3 times during Act 1 that bug the hell out of me.
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SonofRobbieJ
Broadway Legend
joined:12/10/09
Broadway Legend
joined:
12/10/09
West End Theater Attire#8
Posted: 4/26/12 at 4:24pm
I found that a good-fitting pair of jeans, a button down shirt and a pair of shoes (or kicky sneakers) did well by me. As for the shows I saw, Matilda, Long Day's Journey and especially Sweeney Todd were, to a last, wonderful.
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hotjohn
Broadway Legend
joined:3/14/08
Broadway Legend
joined:
3/14/08
West End Theater Attire#9
Posted: 4/26/12 at 6:00pm
West End Theater Attire

Here's what I wore to Love Never Dies!
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devonian.t
Broadway Legend
joined:7/26/04
Broadway Legend
joined:
7/26/04
West End Theater Attire#10
Posted: 4/26/12 at 6:20pm
hotjohn you are a hoot!