Going to London Theatre shows is a must do on anyone's visit to the capital. The West End is only rivalled by Broadway in New York as offering the most varied, vibrant and exciting pieces of theatre in the world.
Even in the midst of economic crisis, riots and rising prices, the West End continues to put on new productions whether small or large as well as reviving classic favourites.
Any self-respecting actor, even if a Hollywood superstar, wants to say they have performed in the West End. Last year saw Jude Law take to the boards again at the Donmar in Anna Christie to rave reviews by those hardened critics, Kevin Spacey back at the Old Vic in Richard III and Ralph Fiennes in the Tempest. Oscar winner Danny Boyle directed Johnny Lee Miller and Benedict Cumberbatch in a National Theatre production of Frankenstein that was so innovative, it was filmed and received special screenings across the world in cinemas. Not to mention the sensation that was David Tennant and Catherine Tate in Much Ado About Nothing at Wyndhams theatre that saw tickets selling like hot cakes well before the run started. Perhaps the only show to match Much Ado for sheer desperation for tickets has been the return of Jerusalem at the Apollo Theatre the end of last year until 14th January this year.
So what London theatre shows will you be going to in 2012? One show that continues to dominate and make the economic crisis look like it doesn't exist is War Horse at the New London Theatre. Performance after performance is sold out and you have to book well in advance to be sure of finding seats. Now with the Steven Spielberg film about to be released, finding those elusive tickets is only going to get harder and London Theatre Direct recommends you free up your diary for months in advance!
Another show already recuperating it's cost is Matilda the Musical. A beloved children's classic, this is one innovative musical for all the family - again tickets seem to be like gold dust so be prepared to book well in advance.
In terms of plays, other big hitters already lined up are All New People with Scrubs star Zach Braff making his West End debut in his self written play, the return of David Suchet at the Apollo in Long Day's Journey Into Night, the transfer of critical and commmerical sensation One Man, Two Guvnors to the Haymarket with a new cast (the original is off to Broadway) and The Duchess of Amalfi at the Old Vic starring the fabulous Eve Best...to name just a few!
And what about the musicals? Joining those long term hits such as Lion King, Mamma Mia and Wicked, new London theatre musicals see new productions of classics such as Singin' In The Rain and Top Hat as well as the gruesome Sweeney Todd with new productions of Bridget Jones the Musical and Spice Girl musical Viva Forever on the horizon for the end of 2012.
Whatever takes your fancy when visiting the West End, be sure to keep checking our blogs and news to find out all about the best new London theatre shows!