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First time in London recs?

seussical93
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joined:8/12/10
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First time in London recs?#1
Posted: 5/23/19 at 12:05am

Hey guys! Ill be in London area July 5-18th ish and am looking for some recommendations. So far Im thinkin Bridges at the chocalate factory, Les Miz (Ive actually never seen the original staging!) and maybe the Jesus Christ Superstar revival? What Shakespeare should I see? Might be a silly tourist question, but is the Globe the best place for Shakespeare? Maybe any new plays? Also do London shows do rush at all? Thanks all!

Updated On: 5/23/19 at 12:05 AM
Alice147
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joined:1/17/19
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First time in London recs?#2
Posted: 5/23/19 at 6:11am

Bridges and the original Les Mis are great choices I think! Especially because Les Mis is closing for refurb on July 13, I think. The JCS revival has some good buzz around it, and for other shows I'd recommend taking a look at:

- Fiddler on the Roof (amazing reviews, yet to see myself)

- Sweat at the Gielgud Theatre (Lynn Nottage's play, transferring from the Donmar Warehouse)

- Death of a Salesman at the Young Vic

- Present Laughter at the Old Vic

- The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 3/4 The Musical (maybe more niche if you're not a fan of the books, but sounds fun!)

Quite a list, but I always like looking at a variety before choosing :) If you're interested in smaller venues I could probably recommend a few that have good buzz as well - let me know.

As for Shakespeare, the Globe is definitely an experience because of the "authentic" open-air aspect, and you can't beat £5 standing tickets in the yard. The company's performing the Henriad (Henry IV and Henry V) this summer, and I've heard Henry IV Part I especially is very good. Just make sure you have a rain mac in case of showers! 

There are also two productions of A Midsummer Night's Dream, at the Regent's Park Open Air Theatre and The Bridge Theatre which sound pretty good! The Bridge Theatre production will also have immersive standing tickets, but they're keeping the specifics of that a surprise. 

And... rush tickets! From what I can tell, in NYC there are physical rush lines outside the theatres? We have day seat and returns queues in London which can vary in length depending on production - a bit of googling will give you some info on this. 

The National Theatre has Friday Rush online for performances the next week, and TodayTix has daily Rush on the app for shows including Waitress, Come From Away, Tina: The Tina Turner Musical and so on. It's definitely worth checking out individual theatre websites to see if they have day seat/rush policies. 

As a final point I'll do a little plug of my own, but one I think you'll find handy! SeatPlan is a seat comparison website with lots of West End theatres including the Gielgud, Barbican and Old Vic. We have user-submitted photos on a seat map so you can check the view and make sure it's worth the money. You can also add you own photos after if you want! 

I hope you have a fab time in London! 

 

seussical93
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joined:8/12/10
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First time in London recs?#3
Posted: 5/23/19 at 12:13pm
Wow, thank you so much for your very detailed response! I will look into all of these choices. Id love to hear about some smaller venues if you have the chance as well! And cool, Ill take a look at your website. Thanks again! :)
buntersxn
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First time in London recs?#4
Posted: 5/23/19 at 3:43pm

– definitely see waitress at the adelphi theatre, it is just phenomenal and i can guarantee you will laugh and cry and just have a great time in general

– come from away!

– six the musical!

Alice147
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joined:1/17/19
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joined:
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First time in London recs?#5
Posted: 5/24/19 at 6:08am

buntersxn said: "– definitely see waitress at the adelphi theatre, it is just phenomenal and i can guarantee you will laugh and cry and just have a great time in general

– come from away!

– six the musical!
"

I still haven't seen Six! I'll have to put it on my list, the songs are so catchy.

Alice147
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joined:1/17/19
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First time in London recs?#6
Posted: 5/24/19 at 6:16am

You're welcome! For smaller theatres (some of these aren't "small" in reputation, but definitely in size!)

The Hunt, an adaptation of the Danish film Jagten, is on at the Almeida Theatre.

This production of The Glass Menagerie at the Arcola Theatre is getting some good pre-opening hype.

The Orange Tree Theatre, Yard Theatre, Gate Theatre, the Bush Theatre and Soho Theatre also usually have good seasons worth a look through! 

There's so many small venues (in size only, or those defined as "fringe theatres"First time in London recs? so if you fancy trying something outside of the West End itself, a really good google is definitely worth spending time on!