I love London, I love the fact that I have access to an incredibly rich range of art and culture. London has something for everyone!! We have some of the finest art galleries, big and small showing the great masters to up and coming artists. There are more music venues than you can shake a stick at, from the enormous O2 area to the upper rooms of pubs that allow singer song writers a place to perform to their trusty fans. There are of course the theatres, one of the things that makes London famous, ranging from the small fringe threatres to the bold and mesmorising west end productions.
This weekend has been particularly cultural, as not only did I see the Royal Philoharmonic Orchestra at Cardogan Hall (http://www.cadoganhall.com/) but I also went to the English National Opera to see The Mikardo (http://www.eno.org/home.php). Both of which were beautiful performed. Now I know what some people will say, that tickets are over priced, but both set of tickets were £25 and under, and I usually set £30 as my maximum for tickets to shows and performances otherwise you do end up spending a fortune. Obviously there are some shows on in London at the moment that never seem to have cheap tickets and it does put me off from going to see them, or I book well in advance and save up to see them as a treat, but there are ways of seeing theatre, or dance or musical performances for a resonable price no matter what your tastes.
If you are a fan of music or opera then its worth signing up to the various theatres websites so that you get an email annocing new performances and upcoming seasons so you know what is going to be on in advance. Knowing what is on in advance means that you can get in early and get a choice of the cheap seats which always makes the difference. For the bargain hunter then there is always websites like lastminute.com, or you can go to the theatre ticket agents that sell off discounted tickets ( they are around Leicester square) for that days performance. You do normally have to get their early and the tickets are usually for the big name musicals and plays, but if you dont live in london or are visiting from overseas its definitely worth doing it ( I did it in New York – although their broadway show prices are astronomical compared to ours and ended up paying almost 1 and half times what I would for a ticket to Chicago than I would here in London!). If you are in the capital over the summer there are some great bargains, such as the the Globe, you can watch a terrific performance of one the bards greats for only £10! Of course that is for standing space only but on a nice summers eve as a one off then its a great thing to do ( although word of advice, pick a shot play as anything over a couple of hours can be quite painful on the legs!).
If you are new to the world of theatre and want to try a few things out or are looking at coming to London and want to see something a little bit different then here a few suggestions of venues to check out
– Royal Festival Hall – is located on the South Bank and has one of the most varied events calanders around. You can see classical music, poetry readings, dance or popular music performances.
– The English National Opera ( at the Colisseum) – just around the corner from the Royal Opera House and the performances just as good and without the hefty price tag. They have a variety of shows on, both their opera and ballet are to behold.
– The Old Vic Tunnels – an underground gem of performance space. They hold a variety of events, from themed nights, classical film showings and theatre performances.
– The Pleasance Theatre – off the beaten track in North East London, but its close ties with fringe theatre mean that you get small productions or comedians trying out new material for a cheap ticket.
No matter what your budget there is always something available for people, and with such a wide range of artistic and cultural performances happening you will never be bored in London!!!