From ages, people in London have essayed quality life in their playwrights, poetries and in books or through theatrical performances. The theatrical performances also showed their creativity and also depicted their glorious culture and history. However, theatres were not the products of English people. They have existed since the times of Ancient Egypt. In England, the concept of theatre developed in the medieval period under the Romans. Since then, the theatres in England have undergone great changes. Today, the theatre is mainly dominated by realism and classic English drama.
In London, you can get chance to attend various theatrical performances on based on political or spiritual philosophies. Majority of the London theatres are settled in and around the "theatre land" i.e. Shaftesbury Avenue, the Strand and nearby streets in the West End. Most of these theatres are receiving houses and mainly show dramatic plays produced by the Royal National Theatre and Royal Shakespeare Company. They do not have theatrical production of their own.
Some of the popular West End theatres include:
- Adelphi Theatre stands on the Strand in the city of Westminster. The 1500-seat West End theatre was set up in 1806 by John Scott and his daughter Jane under the name "Sans Pareil." In the year 1809, the theatre was given the license for musical performances, pantomime and burletta. It has gone through much renovation under different management and today it is owned and managed by the Adelphi Theatre Company Ltd.
- New London Theatre is a remarkable West End theatre which stands in the Covent Garden. Designed by Paul Tvrtkovic, the theatre has a seating capacity of 960 people on 2 levels. Built on the site which of taverns and music hall theatre, the theatre officially opened on January 2, 1973. The theatre has an underground parking area, a cabaret venue, shops, residential tower and a nightclub in the basement.
- Novello Theatre is a magnificent West End theatre designed by W.G.R. Sprague and stands with its twin theatre Aldwych Theatre. The theatre opened on May 22, 1905 under the name Waldorf Theatre. It went through lot of renovation and today it features seating capacity of around 1,050 people. In the year 2005, Delfont Mackintosh Theatres renamed it as Novello Theatre in memory of Ivor Novello.
- Prince of Wales Theatre is a West End Theatre which stands on Coventry Street, near Leicester Square. It was built in 1884 as a three-tier theatre with a seating capacity of over 1,000 people. The theatre was again rebuilt in 1937 and again refurbished in 2004 by Sir Cameron Mackintosh with all increased seating capacity and all modern facilities.
- Royal Opera House is one of the performing arts venues, which is located in the district of the Covent Garden. It is a very large building and houses the Royal Opera, the Royal Ballet and the Orchestra. Though the Royal Opera House maintains the façade, foyer and auditorium of 1858 but extensive reconstructions undertaken in 1990s has made it a majestic theatre. In the present day, the theatre consists of four-tier boxes, balconies and the amphitheatre gallery and has the seating capacity of around 2,268 people.
- Shaftesbury Theatre is settled on the Shaftesbury Avenue in the London Borough of Camden. Opened on December 26, 1911, it was designed by Bertie Crewe and had the capacity to seat 2,392 people. Today, the theatre is owned by the Theatre of Comedy Company.
- Soho Theatre is a West End theatre in the district of the City of Westminster. Home to the Writers' Centre, the theatre patronizes budding writers who want to work in theatres, films, TV and radio. The theatre also entertains you with stand-up comedy, cabaret and other performance programs.
Apart from the traditional West End theatres, there are other treasured theatres that are situated in other parts of London.
- Royal National Theatre on the South Bank
- Globe Theatre on the South Bank
- Sadlers Wells in Rosebery Avenue
- The Barbican Theatre at the Barbican Arts Centre
- Royal Court Theatre in Chelsea
- Young Vic Theatre in Lambeth
The theatres in London have been amusing the people with their entertaining plays, dramas and other cultural performances. The glory which it had in the Elizabethan times is still maintained today by the London theatres.