The West End

When people start planning a trip to London, they usually start with the major sites like Big Ben, the Eye or St. Paul’s Cathedral.

My visit started with which and exactly how many theatre shows I’d be cramming into my time in the city.

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Piccadilly Circus

The best part of London for me is the huge amount of musicals that are running at any given time, you’re really spoiled for choice.

Not far from Piccadilly Circus and Trafalgar Square is where you’ll find the wide selection of shows.

There are many booths in this area of the city which offer discounted tickets so they can be worth checking out but often they’ll be sold out or cheap tickets won’t be on offer for certain shows (as was the case for all the ones I wanted to see!)

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The iconic lights from advertisements at Piccadilly Circus

Instead I just bought tickets online direct from each show’s website and found they were still pretty reasonable, I think the most I ever paid was around 50 pounds and that was for the third row!

When you’re booking online the selection of personal titles on offer also includes royal titles such as Prince, Duchess, Lord, Baron etc. I’m not gonna lie, I was pretty tempted to call myself Princess Vanessa for the evening!

I managed to take in a few shows during my stay and thought I’d briefly share my experience of them all for those interested!

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My absolute favourite was The Book of Mormon. It was hilarious, super offensive and the singing was fantastic, I loved it.

I went in knowing nothing about the plot whatsoever which made it even more fun. The less you know the better so don’t bother looking into it, just go see it and enjoy!

It’s currently playing at the Prince of Wales Theatre, which doesn’t have the most characteristic interior out of all the shows I saw but the musical will keep your interest the entire time it doesn’t matter one bit.

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Memphis is a fairly new musical which had only just started showing while I was in London. The performances were top notch and pretty much anything set in the 1950s with its fashion and rock and roll focus has my vote.

There’s a nice balance between humour and also tackling the major theme of interracial romance during this intolerant era of USA’s history. This show does not disappoint in entertainment factor in any way.

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It’s currently running at the Shaftesbury Theatre, which is beautiful both inside and out.

Lastly on my musical list was Miss Saigon which is at the Prince Edward Theatre, another fantastic theatre venue.

I took my friend who was kindly letting me crash at her place as a thank you and it turned out it was her first musical ever which was super exciting too.

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Again I wasn’t overly familiar with the storyline, knowing only the basics. A modern retelling of Puccini’s Madame Butterfly, it’s an emotional and enthralling account of a romance between an American solider and prostitute during the Vietnam War.

Even if you’re not a musical fan there’s something for most tastes on the West End and I’d recommend Agatha’s Christie’s The Mousetrap.

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The classic whodunnit murder mystery, this show has been running since 1974 which makes it the longest running show in the world. The actors ask at the end that you keep the secret of the murderer so as not to ruin it for others.

It definitely doesn’t fill the seats like The Book of Mormon or other newer offerings, but I rather enjoyed it and St. Martin’s Theatre is extremely charming on the inside too.

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I wish I could’ve been able to see a few more shows during my time in London but I’ll have to wait until another visit!

Next on my list is The Commitments, The Lion King, Billy Elliott, Matilda, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. If anyone has other recommendations please do share 🙂

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