If you have never been to London before, it is hard to imagine how huge it is. I have been to New York, Chicago, San Francisco – all of the major American cities in fact – but London still blew me away. It has everything in it. The diversity of housing ranges from downright dowdy to middle of the range and very costly and at the top end of the market there are some beautiful and rich neighborhoods.
The City Of London has culture, pathos and it has a truly thriving vibrant and interesting society. But to me, the biggest draw was the London West End and the London theater. Shows in London have been rumored to be some of the best in the world. I was on a trip there to find out if that is still true.
It is amazing how many people come to England only to see Broadway shows in London. They brag that they have seen, for example, Cats, or The Lion King in London. To me, this practice borders on disgusting. It is why people hate Americans abroad. The native London theatre leaves the big, gaudy Disney productions in the dust. Seeing Broadway shows in London is like eating McDonald’s in France.
The first show in London that we saw was a production of Hamlet. I have seen Hamlet many times. My parents, in fact, have been taking me to see Hamlet since I was about 12 years old. It is one of the best plays ever written, and I assume there is no better place to see the Shakespearean theater than in London, England.
It is hard to impress me with a production of Hamlet at this point in my life because I have seen it so many times. Nevertheless, the show in London was truly spectacular. Of all the shows in London I saw, in fact, it may have been the best. There was nothing novel about it, and the characters were conventional as was the directing. The level of the acting, however, was above and beyond anything that I had ever seen.
Of course, not all of the shows in London that I saw were so serious. Besides a few local plays done by contemporary playwrights – both of them very good.
To find out more about London and the London West End pop along to the Lets Visit London website.