London is home to some of the most beautiful, historical theatres in the world. And some of the most iconic you’ll find nestled in central London’s theatre-land, among crowds of people, the souvenir shops and many restaurants.
The Duke of York’s Theatre in St. Martin’s Lane
One of my favourite is The Duke of York’s Theatre in St. Martin’s Lane. This beautiful theatre opened in 1892. It was called the Trafalgar Square Theatre, but was renamed in 1895 to honour the future King George V. It has an intimate feel to it, with its ornate design which takes you back to the late 1800s and you can almost imagine the future King George V sitting in a box and taking in a play.
Theatre in 2022
Entertainment and the arts took a huge hit during COVID-19, and theatres like this were forced to close, questioning whether they would reopen. The idea of losing the arts was very real and very scary.
Thankfully they have now reopened, and although there may be a nervousness going to see any live plays or shows, this felt safe. Yes, we were in a small environment, sat very close to other people. However, we had to prove we had been vaccinated, or take a negative covid test with us, and were encouraged to wear masks. This helped to make it feel safe.
The Glass Menagerie
The production in question was Tennessee William’s The Glass Menagerie. A wonderful play, with a superb cast led by the award-winning Amy Adams. And being in the theatre was the real privilege. The cast were emotional about being able to perform and that emotion spread through the audience.
A heady mixture was in our heads; excited, a little nervous, but most of all relief and job at being able to see actors on stage, doing what they do best – giving us a glimpse into the head of the Playwright whether it be Shakespeare, Chaucer or in this case Tennessee Williams!
London’s theatre culture is something incredibly special. It is part of our history, and a part that we are very keen to share with anyone who visits London.