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Closest tube: Holborn (Piccadilly and Central), Covent Garden (Piccadilly)
Parking: NCP Parker Mews (below the theatre)
Buses: 1, 4, 6, 9, 11, 13, 15, 23, 26, 59, 68, 76, 77A, 91, 139, 168, 171, 172, 176, 188, 243, 341, 521, X68
The New London Theatre opened its doors to the public in 1973, and since then has provided a diet of high-powered musicals to an insatiable audience. It is set in a multi-purpose building that also contains a car park, cabaret venue, residential tower and basement nightclub. It has recently attempted to widen its programming from the musicals that made up so much of its output for the first 35 years of its existence.
There has reportedly been an entertainment venue of some sort on the site now occupied by the New London Theatre back to Elizabethan times. It was where the tavern The Great Mogul stood, with which actress Nell Gwynn was associated in the late seventeenth centry. Over the centuries it became known as The Mogul Saloon, or the Mogul Music Hall. By the middle of the nineteenth century it had become the Middlesex Music Hall, also known as The Old Mo. In turn that became the New Middlesex Theatre of Varieties in 1911, but it was finally refurbished opened as The Winter Garden Theatre in 1919. This theatre closed in 1959, and the building remained vacant until it was knocked down and replaced by the current building in 1973.
When it opened the New London Theatre wasnt just used for theatrical events, but for televisual ones as well. The snooker tournament, The Masters, was held there, it was the site of the 1977 Bbc Sports Personality Of The Year and A Song For Europe broadcasts. All that was to change in 1981, when the New London became, for 20 years, the home of Cats. It opened there in 1981 and did not close until 2002, as the longest-running musical in West End history.
Now it offers a more diverse programme with recent productions being The Blue Man Group, RSC productions of The Seagull and King Lear (which starred Sir Ian McKellen), and the transfer of the National Theatres War Horse. This brave new direction has had both significant hits and a couple of high-profile misses, one of which was the Gone With The Wind musical, but it is refreshing to see a West End Theatre vary its programming slightly.
Slightly off the West Ends beaten track, up at the north end of Drury Lane, the New London theatre is just a couple of minutes walk from either Covent Garden or Holborn tube stations. It is also walkable from Tottenham Court Road, Leicester Square, and Chancery Lane. The nearest mainline railway stations are Charing Cross (walkable) and Farringdon (a twenty minute walk).
There is a huge range of places to eat and drink near the New London theatre, and some of them are slightly more interesting than the standard Angus Steakhouse West End fare. If you drop down to Cranbourn Street, there is a huge range of cuisines and types of eatery, and if you want to sample the nightlife after the show there are bars galore, or you are within walking distance of Soho.
It is worth checking the website to find out what is playing, but the New London Theatre offers a diverse and interesting programme in a part of the West End that is not so crowded with tourists.
|HOTEL / APARTMENT||POSTCODE||MILES||STAR||20 Feb||21 Feb||22 Feb||23 Feb||24 Feb||25 Feb||26 Feb||27 Feb|
|Covent Garden Station||1||Piccadilly||0.24 miles|
|Holborn Station||1||Central - Piccadilly||0.31 miles|
|Leicester Square Station||1||Piccadilly - Northern||0.57 miles|
|Tottenham Court Road Station||1||Central - Northern||0.58 miles|
|Charing Cross Station||1||Bakerloo - Northern||0.76 miles|
|Charing Cross London Station||0.81 miles|
|London City Thameslink Station||1.32 miles|
|Farringdon Station||1.36 miles|
|London Blackfriars Station||1.42 miles|
|London Waterloo International Station||1.46 miles|