Glitz and Glamour of the West End

by - 12:21:00 AM

The City of London has an area known as the “West End” which contains many tourist attractions. The term “West End” has its roots back in the early 19th century where it was used to describe the fashionable areas to the west of Charing Cross. The west end of London was developed over the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries and originally consisted of palaces, expensive town houses, places of entertainment and fashionable shops. It has been long favoured by the rich elite as a place of residence because it was upwind of the smoke from the crowded city. Today, the West End features many theatres which attract visitors from all over the world. “Theatreland” as it is known has over 50 theatres and some of the longest running shows have been being performed for over 25 years. The longest running musical is now Les Misérables which surpassed Andrew Lloyd Webber’s other famous musical Cats in 2006. Today however there are many modern productions which are proving just as popular with the theatre-goers of the world.

We Will Rock You
Based on online ticket sales, We Will Rock You is the most popular musical in the West End today. Directed by Ben Elton, it is set in a futuristic world where rock music has been banned and everyone dresses, thinks and does the same. A group of Bohemians are struggling to restore freedom of thought, fashion and live music. Composers and musical instruments are forbidden and rock music has been all but forgotten. We Will Rock You opened at the Dominion Theatre in May 2002 and celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2012. It is now the longest running musical at the Dominion Theatre and has become an audience favourite.

Matilda the Musical
London’s Cambridge Theatre plays host to the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of Matilda. Written by Dennis Kelly, with music and lyrics by award winning comedian and musician Tim Minchin, Matilda is based on the children’s novel by Roald Dahl. Matilda thinks that her parents are only interested in watching television and they think that she is a nuisance. Matilda’s school life isn’t much better as she has a monstrous headmistress who scares both teachers and students alike. Matilda one day discovers that she has a very special power and decides it is time that the grown-ups were taught a lesson. Matilda received its West End debut on 24 November 2011 at the Cambridge Theatre. The winner of seven 2012 Olivier awards, including Best New Musical, Matilda now holds the record for most Olivier awards won by a musical.

Thriller – Live
Thriller Live is a two and a half hour concert which celebrates the solo music work of Michael Jackson and his collaborations with the Jackson 5. It features spectacular dance routines and special effects. The show was running prior to Michael Jackson’s death and now remains as a fantastic tribute to the undisputed King of Pop. The show’s finale sees a full recreation, complete with zombies, of the original Thriller video. Thriller Live is the brainchild of Adrian grant who is a Jackson family friend and author.

So it’s all well and good having so many wonderful shows available to you when you visit London, but the next question is: where are you going to stay? To make sure that you see as many of these shows as possible, it is going to get quite expensive staying in a west London hotel for that amount of time, so there is another option: Serviced apartments. Serviced apartments are great because they give you the flexibility of a hotel, whilst also adding a certain homeliness that is simply unachievable in a sterile hotel environment. They are great for if you are travelling with a family, or simply on your own, and they offer far better value for money to stay in one for a week than staying in a hotel for a week. If you like the sound of serviced apartments Kensington is the first place you should look. Kensington is located in the West of London, which gives you ease of access to the West-End, as well as being located close to London’s famous museums. The apartments there cater for a wide range of travellers – from single business people right through to travelling families of five or more people, so you are sure to find the right kind of place to suit your needs.

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