West End theatre

The Palace Theatre, in the City of Westminster, London, built in 1891
The London Palladium in Soho opened in 1910. While the Theatre has a resident show, it also has one-off performances such as concerts. Since 1930 it has hosted the Royal Variety Performance 43 times.
Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. Opened in May 1663, it is the oldest theatre in London.
Original interior of Savoy Theatre in 1881, the year it became the first public building in the world to be lit entirely by electricity.
The Lyceum Theatre, home to Disney's The Lion King.
Queen's Theatre showing Les Misérables, running in London since October 1985
The restored facade of the Dominion Theatre, as seen in 2017
The St Martin's Theatre, home to The Mousetrap, the world's longest-running play.
The exterior of the Old Vic
The Royal Court Theatre. Upstairs is used as an experimental space for new projects—The Rocky Horror Show premiered here in 1973.

Mainstream professional theatre staged in the large theatres in and near the West End of London.

- West End theatre
The Palace Theatre, in the City of Westminster, London, built in 1891

67 related topics

Alpha

Olivier in 1972

Laurence Olivier

English actor and director who, along with his contemporaries Ralph Richardson and John Gielgud, was one of a trio of male actors who dominated the British stage of the mid-20th century.

English actor and director who, along with his contemporaries Ralph Richardson and John Gielgud, was one of a trio of male actors who dominated the British stage of the mid-20th century.

Olivier in 1972
The house in Wathen Road, Dorking, Surrey, where Olivier was born in 1907
Interior of All Saints, Margaret Street
Peggy Ashcroft, a contemporary and friend of Olivier's at the Central School of Speech Training and Dramatic Art, photographed in 1936
Olivier, with his first wife Jill Esmond (left), in 1932
The Old Vic (photographed in 2012), where Olivier honed his skill as a Shakespearean
Olivier, with Merle Oberon in the 1939 film Wuthering Heights
Olivier with Joan Fontaine in the 1940 film Rebecca
Overseas newspaper correspondents visit the set of Henry V at Denham Studios in 1943
Co-director and co-star: Ralph Richardson in the 1940s
Olivier with Leigh in Australia, 1948
Olivier and Leigh in 1957
Olivier, with Joan Plowright in The Entertainer on Broadway in 1958
Poster for Stanley Kubrick's Spartacus, one of two films in which Olivier appeared in 1960
Laurence Olivier in 1972, during the production of Sleuth
Olivier in 1939

In 1930 he had his first important West End success in Noël Coward's Private Lives, and he appeared in his first film.

Gielgud as Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing, 1959

John Gielgud

English actor and theatre director whose career spanned eight decades.

English actor and theatre director whose career spanned eight decades.

Gielgud as Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing, 1959
Centre: Marion, Kate and Ellen Terry and, far right, Fred Terry at Ellen's Silver Jubilee matinée, Drury Lane, 12 June 1906. Everyone shown was a member of the Terry family.
Noël Coward with Lilian Braithwaite, his, and later Gielgud's, co-star in The Vortex
Mrs Patrick Campbell and Edith Evans, 1920s co-stars with Gielgud
The Old Vic (photographed in 2012), where Gielgud honed his skill as a Shakespearean
Mabel Terry-Lewis, Gielgud's aunt and co-star in The Importance of Being Earnest
Peggy Ashcroft in 1936
Gielgud in a publicity photograph for Secret Agent (1936)
Interior of the Queen's Theatre
Gielgud and Dolly Haas in Crime and Punishment, Broadway, 1947
Edmond O'Brien (Casca, left) and Gielgud (Cassius) in Julius Caesar (1953)
Gielgud, 1953
Much Ado About Nothing: Gielgud as Benedick and Margaret Leighton as Beatrice, 1959
Gielgud (left) as Joseph Surface, and Ralph Richardson as Sir Peter Teazle, The School for Scandal, 1962
Gielgud in 1973, by Allan Warren

After studying at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art he worked in repertory theatre and in the West End before establishing himself at the Old Vic as an exponent of Shakespeare in 1929–31.

Coward in 1972

Noël Coward

English playwright, composer, director, actor, and singer, known for his wit, flamboyance, and what Time magazine called "a sense of personal style, a combination of cheek and chic, pose and poise".

English playwright, composer, director, actor, and singer, known for his wit, flamboyance, and what Time magazine called "a sense of personal style, a combination of cheek and chic, pose and poise".

Coward in 1972
Coward (left) with Lydia Bilbrook and Charles Hawtrey, 1911
Coward in his early teens
Coward in The Knight of the Burning Pestle in 1920
Coward with Lilian Braithwaite, his co-star in The Vortex and the mother of his close friend Joyce Carey
Coward, 1925photograph
Ivor Novello, top l., Alfred Lunt, top r., Lynn Fontanne, lower l. and Judy Campbell – stars of Coward premières of the 1920s–1940s
Coward, with Norman Hackforth at the piano, performing for sailors aboard in Ceylon, August 1944
"Dad's Renaissance": Coward's popularity surged in the 1960s; this poster features Al Hirschfeld's drawing of Coward rather than the stars of this 1968 revival.
The Noël Coward Theatre
Coward as Slightly in Peter Pan in 1913
Coward in his home in Switzerland in 1972
The Coward image: with cigarette holder in 1930
Coward in 1963

Coward played in the piece in 1911 and 1912 at the Garrick Theatre in London's West End.

Shaw in 1911, by Alvin Langdon Coburn

George Bernard Shaw

Irish playwright, critic, polemicist and political activist.

Irish playwright, critic, polemicist and political activist.

Shaw in 1911, by Alvin Langdon Coburn
Shaw's birthplace (2012 photograph). The plaque reads "Bernard Shaw, author of many plays, was born in this house, 26 July 1856".
Shaw in 1879
William Archer, colleague and benefactor of Shaw
William Morris (left) and John Ruskin: important influences on Shaw's aesthetic views
Shaw in 1894 at the time of Arms and the Man
Gertrude Elliott and Johnston Forbes-Robertson in Caesar and Cleopatra, New York, 1906
Shaw in 1914, aged 57
Dublin city centre in ruins after the Easter Rising, April 1916
The rotating hut in the garden of Shaw's Corner, Ayot St Lawrence, where Shaw wrote most of his works after 1906
Shaw in 1936, aged 80
Garden of Shaw's Corner
"The strenuous literary life—George Bernard Shaw at work": 1904 caricature by Max Beerbohm
Shaw in 1905
Shaw's complete plays
Bust by Jacob Epstein

In the 1890s Shaw's plays were better known in print than on the West End stage; his biggest success of the decade was in New York in 1897, when Richard Mansfield's production of the historical melodrama The Devil's Disciple earned the author more than £2,000 in royalties.

The John Golden Theatre, Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre, Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre, and Booth Theatre on West 45th Street in Manhattan's Theater District

Broadway theatre

Broadway theatre, or Broadway, are the theatrical performances presented in the 41 professional theatres, each with 500 or more seats, located in the Theater District and the Lincoln Center along Broadway, in Midtown Manhattan, New York City.

Broadway theatre, or Broadway, are the theatrical performances presented in the 41 professional theatres, each with 500 or more seats, located in the Theater District and the Lincoln Center along Broadway, in Midtown Manhattan, New York City.

The John Golden Theatre, Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre, Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre, and Booth Theatre on West 45th Street in Manhattan's Theater District
Interior of the Park Theatre, built in 1798
The Black Crook (1866), considered by some historians to be the first musical. Poster for the 1873 revival by The Kiralfy Brothers.
Sheet music to "Give My Regards to Broadway"
Victor Herbert
Broadway north from 38th St., New York City, showing the Casino and Knickerbocker Theatres ("Listen, Lester", visible at lower right, played the Knickerbocker from December 23, 1918, to August 16, 1919), a sign pointing to Maxine Elliott's Theatre, which is out of view on 39th Street, and a sign advertising the Winter Garden Theatre, which is out of view at 50th Street. All but the Winter Garden are demolished. The old Metropolitan Opera House and the old Times Tower are visible on the left.

Broadway and London's West End together represent the highest commercial level of live theater in the English-speaking world.

Lloyd Webber in 2008

Andrew Lloyd Webber

English composer and impresario of musical theatre.

English composer and impresario of musical theatre.

Lloyd Webber in 2008
Lloyd Webber studied at the Royal College of Music in London. In 2014, he was honoured for his "contribution to musical life" with an honorary doctorate from the college.
Jesus Christ Superstar, starring Paul Nicholas, at the Palace Theatre, London in 1972. Its success saw Lloyd Webber and Rice expand and release their previous biblical-based musical Joseph.
Evita at the West End's Adelphi Theatre. Lloyd Webber purchased the theatre in 1993. The 1998 video of Lloyd Webber's Cats was filmed at the venue.
Cats at the London Palladium
The Phantom of the Opera at the Princess of Wales Theatre, Toronto
Lloyd Webber was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1993 for his contribution to live theatre
U.S. President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush stand with the Kennedy Center honourees in the Blue Room of the White House during a reception Sunday, 3 December 2006. From left, they are: singer and songwriter William "Smokey" Robinson; Andrew Lloyd Webber; country singer Dolly Parton; film director Steven Spielberg; and conductor Zubin Mehta.
Lloyd Webber and the UK's Eurovision entrant Jade Ewen
Lloyd Webber and Russian President Vladimir Putin prior to the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest in Moscow
After the 2016 English National Opera's revival of Sunset Boulevard at the London Coliseum was well-received, in 2017 the production transferred to the Palace Theatre on Broadway (pictured) in New York City
Cinderella at the West End's Gillian Lynne Theatre in July 2021
Lloyd Webber (middle) with his then-wife Sarah Brightman (right) in 1985. He would cast her as Christine in The Phantom of the Opera which debuted in London the following year.

Several of his musicals have run for more than a decade both in the West End and on Broadway.

The National Theatre from Waterloo Bridge

Royal National Theatre

One of the United Kingdom's three most prominent publicly funded performing arts venues, alongside the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Royal Opera House.

One of the United Kingdom's three most prominent publicly funded performing arts venues, alongside the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Royal Opera House.

The National Theatre from Waterloo Bridge
Axis view of Royal National Theatre to Olivier Theatre fly tower
Detail of the National Theatre showing the grain of the formwork
Denys Lasdun's building for the National Theatre – an "urban landscape" of interlocking terraces responding to the site at King's Reach on the River Thames to exploit views of St Paul's Cathedral and Somerset House.
Laurence Olivier became the first Artistic Director of the National Theatre in 1963. Shown in a photograph by Carl Van Vechten, 1939
Facing east; towards the City of London, from Waterloo Bridge. Showing St. Paul's, and other major City buildings – to the right, the illuminated National Theatre.
An artistic lighting scheme illuminating the exterior of the building
The statue of Laurence Olivier as Hamlet was unveiled in September 2007
The terrace entrance between the mezzanine restaurant level and the Olivier cloakroom level, reached from halfway up/down Waterloo Bridge
The main entrance on the ground floor
The ensemble shows a varying range of geometric relationships.
River Thames and Waterloo Bridge, with National Theatre, centre-right

He went on to take over the Memorial Theatre at Stratford, and to create the permanent Royal Shakespeare Company, in 1960, also establishing a new RSC base at the Aldwych Theatre for transfers to the West End.

Logo by Really Useful Group

Cats (musical)

Sung-through musical composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber, based on the 1939 poetry collection Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats by T. S. Eliot.

Sung-through musical composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber, based on the 1939 poetry collection Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats by T. S. Eliot.

Logo by Really Useful Group
T. S. Eliot's poetry provided most of the lyrics for Cats
The original 1981 London cast of Cats
The Jellicle cats gather every year to make the "Jellicle choice" and decide which cat will ascend to the Heaviside Layer and come back to a new life.
From left to right: Old Deuteronomy, Jemima, Grizabella and Victoria during an event in Germany, 2011.
Andrew Lloyd Webber
Gillian Lynne
Cats at the New London Theatre (1999)
Broadway revival of Cats at the Neil Simon Theatre
The CATS Theatre in Shinagawa, Tokyo (2008)
The Operettenhaus where Cats played for 15 years
The first non-replica production of Cats was staged at the Teatr Muzyczny Roma in Warsaw, Poland (2007).
A school production of Cats in Bangalore, India (2014)
The cat's-eyes logo and the "now and forever" slogan were used to advertise the musical at the New London Theatre (1999).
Radio microphones have become the norm in live theatre since Cats.

Cats opened to positive reviews at the New London Theatre in the West End in 1981 and then to mixed reviews at the Winter Garden Theatre on Broadway in 1982.

Poster

The Phantom of the Opera (1986 musical)

Musical with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, lyrics by Charles Hart, and a libretto by Lloyd Webber and Richard Stilgoe.

Musical with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, lyrics by Charles Hart, and a libretto by Lloyd Webber and Richard Stilgoe.

Poster
At the Majestic Theatre
Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman performing the title song
Steve Barton and Sarah Brightman in the final scene

The musical opened in London's West End in 1986 and on Broadway in New York in 1988, in a production directed by Harold Prince and starring English classical soprano Sarah Brightman (Lloyd Webber's then-wife) as Christine Daaé, and Michael Crawford as the Phantom.

Really Useful Group

International company set up in 1977 by Andrew Lloyd Webber.

International company set up in 1977 by Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Really Useful Films logo

Lee Mead, who won the lead role in 2007's West End revival of Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat by taking part in BBC One's Any Dream Will Do! recorded a single of the song "Any Dream Will Do".