The theatrical history of London’s West End stretches more than three and a half centuries. The first theatre in this area of London, the Theatre Royal opened in 1663 and housed small productions until it was destroyed by fire some years later. While still mainly a pastime of the aristocracy, appreciation for theatre was widespread. Productions occurred in courtyards of public houses, in churches and in small parks for all to enjoy.
In 1843 the passage of the Theatres Act allowed for more theatres to be established in the West End. Several of the venues you pass on the street in what the locals affectionately call “Theatreland” today were part of this movement. (more…)