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A few thoughts.
Posted by: portenopete 05:51 pm EST 01/19/22
In reply to: London Theater --or rather, "Theatre"-- Advice - Robt 04:37 pm EST 01/19/22

How exciting :)! I hope you have a wonderful time!

I can't speak to The Mousetrap's ticket-selling policies but in general there are lots of discount options, such as concession seats (if you are students or over 65) and day seats (which can require standing in line before box office opens) or the TKTS booth in Leicester Square (a 10-minute walk from St. Martin's Theatre, where The Mousetrap plays). There is also the excellent Today Tix phone app that allows you to purchase discount tickets or enter ticket lotteries all from the comfort of your phone. The app can be used for London, NNYC and many other cities.

I would consider the worst-case scenario to be paying full price at the theatre box office. I would avoid the various small storefront (and mobile) ticket-selling agencies that add hefty commissions to the actual price, and that includes hotel concierge desks.

For fancy dining in the area of St. Martin's Theatre, right across the street is the legendary Ivy Restaurant (long a popular spot of theatricals) and a few blocks away in Covent Garden is London's oldest restaurant Rules, if you're in the mood for very traditional British fare (quail, game hen, that kind of thing).

There are many middle-of-the-road chains that serve good food in pleasant surroundings. Pizza Express is a ubiquitous upscale pizza chain that is everywhere in Britain and there is a nice one just down the street in St. Martin's Lane. Other Italian-themed alternatives are Spaghetti House, Bella Italia and Zizi.

I was going to mention another ubiquitous chain Wagamama, which offers Japanese fare at its endless outposts thought the city, but it seems they are all closed down because of COVID. (The communal city is a COVID nightmare.)

Looking at Google Maps I see a lot of places I used to frequent are either closed temporarily or just plain closed. It's been two years since I've been so things are different.

Now for other shows it's hard to say what will be playing later in the year. I'm more confident in recommending specific theatres which are usually safe bets for producing- if not excellent- then at least interesting work:

The National Theatre
The Bridge Theatre
Donmar Warehouse
Almeida Theatre
Hampstead Theatre
Royal Court Theatre
Menier Chocolate Factory
Southwark Playhouse.

Farther off the beaten path in less central neighbourhoods (but all easily reached by Underground) are:

Kiln Theatre
Orange Tree Theatre
Park Theatre
Arcola Theatre.

That's probably enough for now :)!
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Previous: re: London Theater --or rather, "Theatre"-- Advice - PurpleMoney 09:18 am EST 01/20/22
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