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London Broadway Question

Given the cheap prices and interesting selections, I decided I will go to a couple of London Broadway productions during my trip in May.

Could anyone tell me the appropriate attire for London's Broadway? I know in NYC there has been a trend toward less dressy (I see a fair number of people in jeans). However, I'm a bit concerned about London, as it tends to be a bit more formal. Could I get by without a jacket? What if I have tickets in the stalls (nearest section to the stage).

Btw - this website is fantastic. I don't know what I'd do without it.

Thanks!
-Mark

Posted by
9099 posts

The attire at a London West End play isn't much different from what you will see on Broadway. A lot of people will be in jeans (even in the stalls), some others will be dressed up a bit. The only attire that would be out of place would be shorts. In some ways London is less formal as you can eat and drink, and enjoy Ben & Jerrys at your seat during intermission......can't do that at most Broaddway theaters.

Posted by
1288 posts

We "lucked into" some very inexpensive tickets for a show a couple of years ago. The only problem...it started in 1/2 an hour and there was no time to go back to the room and change. We did go in jeans and never felt uncomfortable. However, I still like the idea of "dressing up" a bit for theater and still do so here in Seattle. But I don't think you have to have a jacket, etc. A pair of docker style pants and a nice shirt and you would be fine. (and if necessary, jeans a fine too)

Posted by
14956 posts

Please don't call it London's Broadway....that would be like calling the real Broadway--New York's West End.

In London, it's simply called....going to the theatre. (Some refer to the larger productions as "West End Shows.")

BTW, there is a half-price ticket booth in Leicester Square where you may be able to pick up tickets for that day's shows at discount prices. It's called:

TKTS

Posted by
2775 posts

I feel that a pair of docker slacks and a nice shirt would be more appropriate for the theatre.

Posted by
25 posts

Thanks for the advice. I prefer to dress up at least a little, but as others have mentioned, depending on my itinerary it may be difficult to make it back to the hotel in time to change.

As far as referring to it as London's Broadway, its probably because I'm using the site http://london.broadway.com/, as they have the cheapest tickets right now (19+ pounds for a Stalls seat at a major production, how can anyone refuse?)

Posted by
881 posts

Just an FYI on the cheap tickets Mark - be careful. A lot of the older theatres have nose bleed seats where you literally can't turn your feet forward when seated, the seats are so narrow. These are the seats you gernally (not always get) with the half price deals. Not saying they are all bad, just see if you can get some reviews of the theatre/seats first! :)

Have fun! Chris

Posted by
25 posts

Regarding the tiny cramped seats - I was fearing that might be the case for the tickets I picked up at the Theatre Royal (there were only a couple left).. Oh well, a few hours of discomfort is well worth attending a theatre production in such a famous venue.

Posted by
515 posts

My husband wore khakis and nice shirt to the theatre and was fine. Don't recall many jackets. You see just about everything but shorts.

Posted by
264 posts

In response to the main question - Attire for the most part is pretty casual. It is well understood that tourists are there and as such not a lot of pressure to dress up. A polo shirt and jeans will certainly work. I always feel overdressed.

On the secondary point about space. Certainly there are some places that have zero leg room in the balcony. If you are tall like me definitely consider spending a little extra. Wicked though had tremendous leg room in the balcony.

Posted by
518 posts

I personally thought people were more casually dressed in London than in New York. We're going to New York again in May, so maybe I'll pay more attention. I dressed up once, but not again. I felt fine in jeans. It didn't seem much different than going to a movie except there were no short or ballcaps.

Posted by
25 posts

I've noticed in NYC, people toward the stage (aka the more expensive seats) tend to dress up more, whereas the people in the back (the poor cheap guys like me) tend not to.

As far as the cramped seats, I got one of the last single mid-May ticket available for Oliver! (which I really want to see). So begars can't be choosers (but unfortunately, I'm 6'3"). I see even balcony seats are going for 100-175 pounds some places now.

Posted by
2026 posts

I am not a theatre maven but you might look at www.theatremonkey.com and www.telegraph.co.uk for some deals on tix. I still recall with wonderment at how our drinks were right on the spot during the interval 17 years ago when we saw Mousetrap. Can you imagine what would become of a gin and tonic sitting on a counter here at home?