Musical London, London

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  • St John’s, Smith Square
    St John’s, Smith Square
    by toonsarah
  • A City concert at St. Sepulchre church.
    A City concert at St. Sepulchre church.
    by Regina1965
  • A concert in St. Anne´s Lutheran Church.
    A concert in St. Anne´s Lutheran Church.
    by Regina1965
  • We will rock you

    by Alexandra95 Written Feb 18, 2014

    The Musical "We will rock you" is a mix between humour and the freedom to rock out!
    From begin until to end you are caught in a word of music, dance and love.
    Its better than each Movie and highly recommended.

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    St John’s, Smith Square

    by toonsarah Written Mar 11, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    St John’s in Smith Square is a Baroque church dating back to 1728. It was damaged during the Second World War but has been restored and now serves as a concert venue. I have never been to a concert here, but I have often walked through the square, as I used to work in this area, and I love the way the church dominates and fills the square. If you have been walking through the quiet streets to the north it can come as something of a surprise to turn a corner and find this large church building among the terraced houses.

    Concerts are held both at lunchtimes and in the evening, and prices can be very reasonable, especially for the former - £5 is not uncommon for a lunchtime concert, which for an hour’s entertainment in central London is something of a bargain! Evening events are more expensive but still not bad – expect to pay between £10 and £20. You can book in advance in person, by phone (see below) or online, or just turn up – I imagine at lunchtime especially that shouldn’t be a problem.

    There is also a café serving light meals and lunches, which is also open in the evenings when there are performances, serving drinks and post-concert food. It looks very attractive but again I have to say I haven’t yet got round to trying it. One day soon, hopefully ...

    St John���s, Smith Square
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    Free Lunchtime Concerts.

    by Regina1965 Updated Feb 25, 2013

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    I stumbled upon these events by accident really, as when I was visiting the City churches I arrived in one church to find it filled with people and a organ concert had just started. So I found some brochures at the church and found out when other concerts were planned.

    These events are organized by the City of London - Free Winter Concerts - to celebrate the arts in the City. Every week there is a concert in a church in the City.

    The first two concerts I attended were in St. Anne´s Lutheran Church, such excellent concerts. There are free lunchtime concerts at St. Anne´s every Monday and Friday and the atmosphere is so relaxed and friendly, coffee is offered and one can bring lunch and drink the coffee during the concert.

    The 4th concert I attended was at St. Sepulchre, which is also called the Musicians´ Church. There are sometimes free lunchtime concerts and also evening concerts with admission fee. There I listened to a fantastic concert with the Guildhall Jazz Singers and Band. That concert was organized by the City of London and was first class.

    The City Concerts start at 13:05 and last for 50 minutes.

    The Church concerts, which are not organized by the City, start at 13:10 and last for ca 40 minutes.

    Highly recommended as a break from the hustle and bustle of the City.

    A concert in St. Anne��s Lutheran Church. Free Winter Concerts. City Music Society. A City concert at St. Sepulchre church. A concert in St. Anne��s Lutheran Church.

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    Royal Albert Hall

    by mikey_e Updated Dec 21, 2012

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    Royal Albert Hall is famous in its own right, and there have been numerous recorded and live televised performances that have been brought to hundreds of millions of listeners and viewers around the world from its main hall. Nevertheless, when I think of the Hall, and indeed even when I saw, I can think of only one association: Doris Day screaming to prevent the assassination of a foreign dignitary during a concert at the Hall in Alfred Hitchcock’s The Man Who Knew Too Much. Royal Albert Hall, named after Queen Victoria’s consort, was opened in 1871 and was known as the Royal Albert Hall of Arts and Sciences. The Sciences part is slightly ironic, as poor sound engineering ensured that there was a notorious echo that dampened enthusiastic performances until nearly a century after its opening. The Hall was constructed as part of the larger project to turn South Kensington into a centre of arts and learning, and that resulted in the construction of the V&A Museum, the Natural History Museum and the Science Museum. Its combination of an iron-and-glass dome with the round, neo-Classical elliptical body is apt as a metaphor for the entire area’s spirit of melding Classical enlightenment and education with modern industry and methods. The Hall is used for a variety of public and private (or semi-private) events that are not just limited to classical music. They include poetry readings, rock concerts, circus acts (Cirque du Soleil, that is) and graduation ceremonies for both ICL and RCA.

    Royal Albert Hall The Hall up close Entrance to the Hall View of the Neo-Classical architecture More of the ellipse
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    Royal Festival Hall

    by mikey_e Written Dec 12, 2012

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    I must admit that I did not go to Royal Festival Hall in order to partake of a concert, despite the fact that this is the home of the London Philharmonic. I wandered into the main entrance hall of the building because of a showing of prize-winning photographs that were on display for the public. The Royal Festival Hall was built in the 1950s and is a good example of the Modernist style of architecture. It was supposed to look like an egg in a box, a result of the attempts to insulate the Hall from the effects of the passing tube trains. Unfortunately, the insulation did not address the acoustic problems inside the hall. In the 1960s a renovations was undertaken that altered the riverfront façade of the Hall and removed some of the modernist aspects of the building's style. Another series of renovations in 2005-2007 sought to tackle the acoustic problems, increase connections to surrpounding halls, and also added a row of shops and offices was added on the riverfront, again altering the look of the building. Today you will also find a bust of Nelson Mandela beside the Hall, in the passageway that separates it from Queen Elizabeth Hall.

    Royal Festival Hall Bust of Mandela The side of the Hall The twice done-over riverside fa��ade
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    LONDON BUSKERS--LEGAL OR ILLEGAL?

    by davidjo Written Dec 3, 2012

    What is a London Busker? Well a busker is a street entertainer, usually to be found in the London Underground or pedestrian tunnels playing a guitar, harmonica or even bagpipes. Normally they have a box or some other means where passer bys can drop some small change. Some of them are very good, and who knows, some of them may be spotted some day and may be offered to play in pubs or other establishments. The girl in the photograph was merrily singing a Janis Joplin song at Piccadilly Underground when i passed by. Her voice was amazing and reminded me of the great lady herself!

    Busking was at one time illegal on the London Underground but in 2003 they came up with an idea to organise the buskers and now 400 buskers have 3000 time slots available from London Underground who charge £30 for the license.

    for more info try www.londonbusker.com

    excellent musicians on the Underground

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    enjoy a free concert

    by davidjo Written Nov 27, 2012

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    At St Martins Field in the Church free concerts are performed at 1 pm every Mon,Tues, Fri but Thurs, Fri and Sat there are concerts at 7.30 pm which charge the normal ticket fee. Next door at Cafe in the Crypt has jazz every Wednesday at 8 pm.
    There has been a church here since 1222 but was rebuilt in 1542 by Henry VIII, and eventually in 1606 it was not big enough for the parishioners so James I had it enlarged and has been repaired/renovated since then.

    St Martin-in-the-Fields
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    Abbey Road

    by Kaspian Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Abbey Road is a pilgramage for Beatles fans from all over the world. I firmly believe that there are two types of rock n' roll fans in this world--"Beatles people" and "Elvis people". I've always found myself in the latter camp, preferring the King over the Mop Tops any day of the week. I tried though, I really, really did. I think I've listened to every single Beatles album out there and I don't understand it but their music is just not in me. (Please don't lynch me!)
    But I digress, this is about the now-famous crosswalk used in the cover of the Beatles' 1969 album, "Abbey Road". You know the photo, it's the one with the four Beatles sauntering across a zebra-striped road with a Volkswagon bug, blue sky, and some trees in the background. EMI's Abbey Road Studios, where the band recorded, is also located at this intersection, which is just a short walk from the St. John's Wood tube station. Because it's an intersection of three streets, I noticed other tourists looking confused as to which crosswalk was the right one. It's the one where if you stand on the traffic island, look down Abbey Road with the studio to your left, the crosswalk will be straight ahead of you--flanked by two small yellow-topped lamposts.
    The sidewalk, Abbey Road street sign, and the cement parts of the studio fence are scrawled with messages to the band, "Paul, I love you", "Let it be, we miss you, John", "Amanda loves Ringo". So Beatlemaniacs, don't forget to bring a good marker!
    The crosswalk is in no way the peaceful little neighbourhood scene depicted in the album cover; traffic roars down this busy street as tourists quickly run out in an attempt to get their photo taken in the proper arms-and-legs-extended Beatles stance. The photos I took for others were so funny, they looked as though they were running in fear for their lives instead of sauntering. OK, now where's the Sex Pistols Museum hidden?
    Do not miss: The Abbey Road Cafe, a Beatles oriented coffee and souvenir shop located right beside the St. John's Wood.

    Abbey Road - Crosswalk and Studio (2005) Abbey Road - Street Sign (2005) Abbey Road Cafe (2005) Abbey RoadCafe - Inside (2005)
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    Abby Road

    by fishandchips Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    After visiting Primrose Hill you can take a stroll down the hill (opposite direction from Regents Park) and wander passed some expensive real estate and visit the Abby Road studios. You only really get a glimpse through the window and see a few Beatles fans stand on the crossing to get their photo taken - I suspect that the London traffic is used to this!!

    THE crossing at Abby Rd
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    Don't judge by appearances.

    by planxty Updated Nov 15, 2010

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    Let's be honest here. Have a look at the photograph accompanying this tip and you will probably think I have gone mad and included a tip about a condemned building in imminent danger of being demolished for the public good. That is OK. If I didn't know better, I would agree with you. What you are actually looking at is the oldest surviving grand music hall in the world, Wilton's, which is situated in an almost invisible back alley in a not particularly salubrious area of the East end of London.

    A little of the history supporting this claim is, I think, in order here. The very look of the place, even to this day, suggests it's origin as five terrace houses bought by one John Wilton and opened as a music hall in 1858. The music hall was an odd phenomenon of entertainment aimed primarily at the less well off and had a brief but important heyday of only about 50 years although some of them managed to struggle on until the mid 20th century. For non UK readers the terms vaudeville or burlesque may give some idea of the types of entertainment provided. Most London music halls were basically extensions to public houses (bars) where you either paid for entertainment in the bar or paid to go into a seperate entertainment room. Wilton's was one such. Food was often supplied as well. The inner East End of London, traditionally a poor working class area, had more than it's share of such establishments.

    Wilton's only lasted a brief 22 years when the licence could not be renewed. It was then taken over and became another East End institution, a religious mission, in this case Methodist. It continued in this role until 1956 when it went sadly into decline. Fortunately it is now running again, although on a somewhat hand to mouth basis, and relies as much for use as a film set as a working venue for revenue. I know, for example, that there have been several heavy metal music videos filmed here. I know this as a rather large friend who does film extra work, was dressed up as some sort of "monster" here a few years ago!

    True to it's history, there is a bar here called the Mahogony Bar, reflecting the origins of the place. Even if you are not going for a show, it is an OK place for a drink, if just to soak up the atmosphere. I must confess I have not seen a show here, a situation I intend to rectify soon, but I have seen the interior, many years ago, and it really is breathtaking.

    Wilton's is one of those generally undiscovered places that only locals really know about. I was tempted to put it into the "off the beaten path" section, and it is certainly worthy of that title as it is a real pain to find, but I hope my directions are useful. If you do have a little spare time in London, go and have a look.

    Wilton's Music Hall, East London, UK.
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  • Lively Piano Bar

    by bwayand7th Updated Jul 21, 2010

    More fun than your average visit to a London pub, and less crazy than some of the other nightlife options out there, the Show Off! Piano Bar at Cafe Koha is perfect for locals looking for something a little different or visitors who want to cap off a day of sightseeing hanging out with London showtune lovers. Cafe Koha is a nice bar with great drinks and food, but on Show Off! nights they have an MC and piano accompanist (and sometimes special guests from the West End theater scene). People get up and sing songs (especially Broadway show tunes, but pop songs as well), and it's okay if you're not a pro - the audience is warm and friendly. There's nothing like a good showtune sing-a-long to raise the spirits! Get more info at www.showoffpianobar.com.

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    Attend a Lunchtime Concert

    by Sunshine64 Written Nov 8, 2009

    At St. Margaret's Church, next to Westminster Abbey.

    Offered on Mondays - free of charge, but there is the collection box for visiting the church, to which I contributed since I did stick around after the concert and looked at the church.

    The concert I attended was a pianist and a violinist and both were excellent.

    It's a nice way to take a break from all the standing, relax, and enjoy the music.

    St. Margaret's Church
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    Phantom of the Opera

    by oRi_5 Written Jul 20, 2009

    About a week before my husband and me were to leave for our London holiday, a friend suggested going to see a musical. So I got online and started looking for tickets. I'm a big fan of Phantom and really wanted to see it - but they were mostly sold out online. Then I was told to wait till I got there and go to the Half Price theatre ticket booths in Leicester square where I would find returns of the day.... so that's what we did.

    Leicester square is FULL of these ticket booths and we just popped from one to the other to see what the best deal we could find was. Most were sold out except for 2 tickets in the Royal Circle for about £69 each ticket. They were definitely not half price...and definitely not cheap...but it was our only chance to see it.... so we bought them.

    We made our way to Her Majesty's theatre that evening and settled down for the show....and what a show that was. The set was amazing, the costumes too and especially the actors/singers. Amazing voices that sent chills down your spine and gave you gooseflesh!

    I definitely recommend watching this musical if you have the time....and do pay to get good seats (not in the top gallery) as otherwise you'll miss some parts where actors go high up almost near the ceiling!

    DEFINITELY WORTH SEEING!

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    Visit a Mela.

    by planxty Written May 27, 2009

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    I must admit that until I moved to London some years ago, I had no idea what a mela was. It is basically an Asian festival, typically including music, dancing, food and drink stalls and sometimes a funfair.

    they are generally held in the summer months when there is, supposedly, a chance of better weather. the best places in london are the East End, traditionally an area where Asian immigrants settled, and also Southall in West London, another area with a large Asian population.

    The area I live in is predominantly Bangladeshi, and this was reflected in the line-up. a lady called simply Mumtaz was the headline act, and, although a middle aged lady, she was greeted with a reception normally reserved for young pop stars. Although I am certainly no expert on Bengali music, she did seem very good.

    In an area that is literally world famous for Asian restaurants (Brick Lane) the food was also of an exceptionally high standard.

    Obviously, as there are so many of them, I have not included specific addresses or contact details, it is a matter of checking when and where they are being held.

    Hopefully, the photos give you an idea of what you can expect.

    Brick Lane Mela, London, UK. Woman, Brick Lane Mela, London, UK. Crowd, Brick Lane Mela, London, UK. Thrill ride, Brick Lane Mela, London, UK.
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    Abbey Road

    by krissyM Written Feb 7, 2008

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    Any Beatles fans out there? If so, take a walk to Abbey Road. The zebra pedestrian crossing has been moved from it's original location due to the number of tourists causing traffic problems but it is still fun to walk across the new crosswalk taking your own iconic image.

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