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Coming to London for the first time

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moulin724rouge
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Coming to London for the first time#1
Posted: 10/9/09 at 8:01pm
Hello all! I am visiting London for the first time in December and I absolutely cannot wait! I have seen many Broadway shows and am excited to experience the West End. Any advice in terms of shows to see/theatrical places to visit/ student rush tickets? Thanks so much!
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TIGGOSAURUS
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re: Coming to London for the first time#2
Posted: 10/10/09 at 5:08am
People on this board are very helpful, but it would be easier if you gave a few more specifics: how long you are visiting for, what type of shows you prefer, how tight your budget is etc etc. Also, are you planning to buy tickets when you get here or in advance?

I always recommend www.theatremonkey.com as a good starting point for summarising discounts and reviewing seating for West End shows.

Personal recommendations: musical - Priscilla, play - War Horse, shop - Dress Circle. re: Coming to London for the first time
Seen some shows in my time....
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Mark_E
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re: Coming to London for the first time#2
Posted: 10/10/09 at 5:15am
Hey! I would reccomend Priscilla and Sister Act for definite. La Cage is also worth a visit but it's going to Broadway in April so might not be a good choice.

If you haven't seen Blood Brothers yet, id say it is a must see. Legally Blonde will be in previews then too (don't know if you saw it on Broadway or not)

As far as Dayseats/Student tickets here are some from what i remember-
Dayseats (from 10am on the day):
Sister Act/Wicked/Hairspray/Grease : 25 front row
Breakfast at tiffanys : 15 front row

Avenue Q - Student tickets best avaliable 20(midweek)/25(for weekends)
Blood Brothers - Students 20 best avaliable on day
Sister Act/Wicked - Students 25 best avaliable on day (excluding sat evening for wicked)
We Will Rock You - Students 27.50 best avaliable on day
Oliver - 25.25 best avaliable on the day (Mon-Thurs only!)
Hairspray - 22.50 best avaliable on the day (excluding saturday evening)
Jersey Boys - 25 best avaliable an hour before shpw(Mon-Thurs only!)
Les Mis - 27.50 best avaliable an hour before(although they have been selling out regularly lately)
Shawshank Redemption - 25 student standby
39 steps - 15 students tickets on the day
National Theatre - 10 on the day for students
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re: Coming to London for the first time#3
Posted: 10/10/09 at 5:26am
< sigh > I wish I were still a student (well, apart from the crippling student loans thingy which is obviously a bit of a downside).

I'd also second Sister Act / La Cage and there will a lot of excellent plays to choose from in December (which Weez can probably appraise you of more eloquently than I could).
Seen some shows in my time....
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re: Coming to London for the first time#4
Posted: 10/10/09 at 6:22am
Depends what sort of thing you like and whenabouts in December you're coming, really. War Horse and La Cage are generally my number one recommendations for anyone planning to see anything in London, but they're both heading to Broadway so I don't know if that'll affect your viewpoint any. They're both incredibly wonderful beasts, and I'm actually off to see them both again for the fourth time each today. XD

CAUTION: if you're coming for musicals and not interested at all in plays, then you'll DEFINITELY want to skip my play ramblings, but do tune in near the end for ticket advice. :3

The Donmar Warehouse will have Red for most of December. I know next to nothing about it (about Mark Rothko, starring Alfred Molina), but the creative team at least has me jigging excitedly in my seat, and it's always nice to visit the Donmar. You get theatre geek cred for it if nothing else. re: Coming to London for the first time Come the end of December, the RSC will have transferred in Twelfth Night. No one knows anything about it yet, but everything so far suggests it should be a fairly solid production as long as nothing goes terribly wrong. The Old Vic has Inherit the Wind going on; I know it's not long since the Broadway revival, but I really do think it's a fantastic play, and the reviews have been more complimentary about the cast than the text, which bodes well indeed. re: Coming to London for the first time (Kevin Spacey as Drummond, if that interests you.)

The National appears to be having an interesting time during December. If you're arriving at the beginning, you could catch the end of Mother Courage and her Children. It's divisive and demented, so do plenty of research if you're thinking about it! Then they're moving onto Nation, which is this year's Great Big Adaptation of a Children's Novel so should *fingers crossed* be good. The Pitmen Painters is serviceable but nothing new, and The Power of Yes is a great big NO, but The Habit of Art could be worth a look, if the feeling of deja vu you get from the Alan Bennett + Richard Griffiths + Frances de la Tour combo is positive rather than negative. There's also The Cat in the Hat (which could be awesome or horrible, I don't think there's a middle ground), Pains of Youth (which I would hesitate to recommend to anyone even though my favourite actor is in it XD), and Our Class (which is apparently amazing but harrowing).

As for the West End, there's nothing especially that really jumps out. The Woman in Black is a perennial favourite if you like the sound of an incredibly low-tech but deeply disturbing ghost story. I'm hoping Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is going to be AWESOME, but bear in mind it's a transfer of the Broadway production. I haven't yet decided about The Misanthrope, previewing from 7th December; Keira Knightley is a BIG turn-off for me, but it reunites director Thea Sharrock with Dominic Rowan and Tim McMullan (all three of whom were at least partially responsible for the Globe's ridiculously awesome As You Like It this summer), Tara Fitzgerald is good, and Damian Lewis can't be bad. Keira Knightley though. D:

Plays are awesome because it's slightly easier to get cheap tickets than for musicals, plus the top play prices often aren't as pricey as the top musical prices to begin with! You can get into almost anything at the National Theatre for £10/15; if you can't find such a ticket in advance, then queue up on the day for a £10 Day Seat. Donmar does dayseats as well; £15 for sitting, £7.50 for standing. Sometimes you need to queue from frighteningly early in the morning, but it's a possibility. Depending on the production, the standing places can actually offer a better view than the seated ones. XD If you're thinking of the Old Vic, then don't shy away from the restricted-view-due-to-pillar seats; yes, there'll be a pillar in your line of vision, but they're skinny pillars and you can save a lot of money by being willing to put up with that. If you're thinking about seeing a show that isn't selling out enormously, you could always gamble with a cheap seat way up in the balcony or uppermost circle. If the theatre hasn't sold enough tickets, they'll close off the upper level(s) and relocate everyone up there to a much nicer seat. I've had some really cracking seats thanks to relocation policies. re: Coming to London for the first time (Although I have been stuck with some stinkers when it hasn't worked; doesn't matter so much in a fine house like the Wyndham's, but somewhere like the Novello almost guarantees you'll not be seeing the stage. People tend to *lean* in the Novello, horrible creatures. XP)

Check www.broadwaybox.com/london as well as www.theatremonkey.co.uk for discounts. I book quite a few things through www.lastminute.com but they won't tell you your seat location until you arrive at the theatre, and while I've had nothing but good times with them, others have been less impressed.

Anyway! Please do continue using us as a sounding board. We'd be happy to offer our collective thumbs-up or thumbs-down or whatever on anything you're thinking of shortlisting, and once we have a better idea of you, we can offer better recommendations for you. :)

(Have you considered seeing a pantomime? It's certainly the season for it, although if you're not used to such things, it could be a terrifying, baffling experience rather than a hilarious, festive one. XD)
Updated On: 10/10/09 at 06:22 AM
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re: Coming to London for the first time#5
Posted: 10/11/09 at 5:36am
Jeeps Weez, you certainly got out on the right side of bed, then had a couple of Shredded Wheat!!!
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re: Coming to London for the first time#6
Posted: 10/13/09 at 2:21pm
Definitely, definitely, definitely see something at the Globe. It's totally worth it. Also, I think the Royal Shakespeare Company might be back in London at that time.

Also see what's playing at the National, they have really interesting up and coming stuff.
<-- Gwen Stewart, SOLoist at the last show of RENT
Cages or wings? Which do you prefer? Ask the birds. Fear or love, baby? Don't say the answer Actions speak louder than words. (Tick, Tick... BOOM!)
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re: Coming to London for the first time#7
Posted: 10/13/09 at 2:35pm
Wow! so much information! I am coming right before the holidays and I heard the Globe was closed in winter for weather purposes? I am mostly interested in musicals yes. Any opinions on We Will Rock You? I was in a production here in California so people think I'm crazy but I actually like the show.

I am staying by the Thistle Marble Arch... is that close to the theater district?
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re: Coming to London for the first time#8
Posted: 10/13/09 at 6:45pm
Its fairly close, you will probably still need to use the bus/tube though. Your only 3 tube stops from Totenham court road where WWRY is playing.

I quite like it, and you can get student ticks for 27.50 so why not?

YOU MUST SEE SISTER ACT AND PRISCILLA!
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re: Coming to London for the first time#9
Posted: 10/13/09 at 6:52pm
The Globe generally closes up for the winter. The shop, tours, and exhibition are open as usual, but the main programming ends in October. However, they are doing a Christmas Cracker thing this year from 22 December to 3 January.

http://www.shakespeares-globe.org/christmascracker/

I just don't think it's going to be the same, somehow. re: Coming to London for the first time

So... musicals... LA CAGE. re: Coming to London for the first time