From Amy Winehouse to Shakespeare, London is widely known as one of the best places to find top entertainment and performances in the city. With so many artists and performers flocking to the city for its many opportunities, there is always something unseen and awe inspiring in the city. London is also one of the biggest arts business hubs in the world, with many film production companies, theatres and music venues having popped up over the city in the last century. This is because with London being one of the economic powerhouse cities of the world, arts and culture are bound to arise out of the wealth amounted. Investors and the wealthy are always looking for new ways to bring in more money to the city and therefore often invest funds into the arts in the hope that it will bring in a paying audience. Couple this with the amount of inspiration that can be taken from the city and you have yourself a potent concoction which will lead to almost too much entertainment for any guest of the Park Grand London Lancaster Gate to fit in during their trip. Whether you’re a business traveller looking to entertain guests, an arts aficionado or a holiday maker looking for a fun way to spend the night, there is something for everyone in the city of London.
With the emergence of many drama schools and the legacy of famous playwrights such as William Shakespeare, it is no surprise that there are so many theatre and so many great plays to be found in London. One of the main areas for popular theatre is the West End, where you can find the best in Musicals such as Wicked and the Body Guard playing at theatres such as the Lyceum, Piccadilly Theatre and the Garrick. These highly popular West End theatres show the best in musicals, where spectacle and fun come first. These productions are often grand and sell out very quickly, with many ticket offices around the city focusing on the selling and reselling of these tickets. If you are planning on attending a musical like Wicked or the Book of Mormon then it is a good idea to book in advance. These theatre shows are great for families and business travellers looking for a bit of light entertainment in the evening.
There are many nationally acclaimed and celebrated theatre spaces in the city that cater to a wide range of ages. The National Theatre is one, and it is just that, National. It celebrates the best in contemporary and classical theatre, having plays performed on the idyllic South Bank as wide ranging as Sarah Kane and William Shakespeare. The intention is to celebrate the best in directors and actors by performing a range of contemporary and classical texts in a range of ingenious and creative ways. Other theatres at the forefront of Drama are the Young and Old Vic Theatres, again showing prestigious playwrights alongside soon to be classics. The Royal Court also has a long history of helping Young Writers make the step up to professional and critical acclaim. If you are looking for the classics then the Globe Theatre is the best place to go, helping schools and performers to engage in traditionally staged works from the likes of Shakespeare and Marlow. What’s more, the Globe Theatre was designed to resemble the exact theatre that Shakespeare would have had his plays performed on in Elizabethan England.
London has been at the forefront of film making for years now and many famous films are set in the city, including Notting Hill and The End of the Affair. Every year the London Film Festival as well as many other short and feature festivals take place around the city, with its long history of independent cinema and nurturing new talent. As the capital of the UK and with an army of famous actors coming out of the country, it is not surprising that there are so many Film premieres in the West End. Leicester Square in particular has the Empire Cinema, where almost every week there is another Red Carpet event celebrating the newest Blockbuster movie.
So where should one go to see the newest Blockbusters? The answer is usually around the city centre. Here you can find Cinemas like the Empire Cinema and Odeon Piccadilly, where you get the best in special effects and surround sound that will have you glued to your seat. These are the best ways to experience special effects driven films such as the Marvel franchise another large scale adventure films. The BFI IMAX is also great for this, having the biggest screen in the country at a whopping 26m by 20m screen, amounting in a 520m² screen. The auditorium here fits 485 in the audience and projects both digital and film cinema.
For the best in independent cinema there are a range of quaint and trendy cinemas dotted around the city. Here you can find a boutique experience where the lesser kwon films coming out will be played, creating an intimate and relaxing experience which will satisfy the film buff and casual movie goer alike. These cinemas include the Prince Charles Cinema where there are often Q and A sessions and movie marathon all-nighters screened as well as the Rio Cinema in Dalston, the Ritzy in Brixton which shows the best in international cinema as well as the BFI cinema on the South bank, which celebrates the study, history and culture of international cinema.
From Amy Winehouse to the Libertines, London has a great history of music. These days you have an ever expanding amount of venues popping up all over the city hosting the best in all genres. The Royal Opera House and the Barbican Centre are two of the best in terms of classical music, hosting a range of classic composers as well as the best in up and coming classical performers. Works at the Barbican have included ballets and the works of neo classical pianist Phillip Glass.
For those who are interested in dance music then the best venues for great DJ’s are Corsica and Fabric. Here the best sound systems as well as the best in internationally renowned DJ’s often paly in the huge dance spaces. The Ministry of Sound is also at the top of its game with great value club night prices and great international and national names playing beats that are sure to get the heart pumping and the body moving.
For live pop music the O2 Academies in Kenitsh Town and Brixton never fail to impress. Here both new music and classic groups such as the Pixies play to huge crowds and still keep at the forefront of live music. For smaller and cheaper venues places like Brixton Jamm, the Old Blue Last in Shoreditch and the Village Underground have great value ticket prices and are sometimes free. With new apps such as DICE and Bands in Town giving music lovers an ongoing stream of events happening every day, there is no excuse for missing your favourite bands and music artists playing in the city.
London is not exempt from music festivals either. Field Day music festival is one of the trendiest festivals around, taking place in London Fields whilst British Summertime in Hyde Park brings in huge crowds into the green beauty and open spaces of Hyde Park every year. Last year saw the likes of Kings of Leon and the year before was the Strokes time to shine.
London has a great history of nurturing comedy talent and the venues on offer reflect this. From alternative comedy to the mainstream charms of Michael Mcintyre, the city always has something to see. Whether you want a large auditorium like the Hackney Empire or the Leicester Square Theatre or the intimate setting of the Backyard Comedy Club and the Shutterbug in Shoreditch, there is someth8ing to cater to all tastes in the city.