Nowadays when London is mentioned, the thought of stunning theatre portrayals and striking West End musicals spring to mind. However, the theatre hasn't always been a positive trait of London, and way back in Roman times, When London, as we know it today, was Londinium, things were very different. Their style of theatre had been very much based on the ways of the Greeks, and when the Romans left Londinium, so did theatre. It wasn't until the surge in Christianity happened that the theatre was revived once again in England with the portrayals of moral plays that sought to show people how they could get into Heaven. These Christian theatre performances subsided with the reign of Henry VIII who saw the theatre as a means of entertaining himself. It was this merriment that triggered the rise in popularity amongst theatre once again as a means of entertainment, although not everybody approved. During this time, theatres were largely attended by people of a lower social class, since upper and middle class people thought the theatre to be immoral. Perhaps this was due to the fact that theatres weren't only used for performances but also for animal fighting and other practises that would certainly be grey areas within the confines of Christianity.
A pivotal point in English theatre though, was of course when Shakespeare's writings became popular and were re-worked as plays in the 18th century. So much was the impact Shakespeare's works had on theatre, that one was erected in his honour at his home town in Stratford-Upon-Avon -the perfect way to commemorate his contribution to theatre as we know it today. This progressed in the 19th century where theatres once again became an accepted form of entertainment and more and more of them popped up around London. This was when the West End first became home to London's theatre world, just as it still is today. In fact, London's West End is now renowned for outstanding musical performances of some of the world's favourite shows, such as The Lion King, We Will Rock You and Dirty Dancing: the musical. The standard of these shows are second to none and perhaps that explains why visiting the West End has become a must do whilst staying in London.
If you're looking for a special way to celebrate a birthday or special occasion, then watching a show with your nearest and dearest is a unique yet memorable way to do so. Not only will you get to see some outstanding talented actors, but you'll also get to watch them in stunning surroundings, since the grandeur of the majority of London's theatres will take your breath away. Also, since many of London's finest restaurants offer a 'pre-theatre' menu, you can combine brilliant entertainment with sumptuous dining and still not blow your budget, thanks to the set menus that offer fantastic value for money if ordered before a specified time (usually 5.30pm.) You can usually pick between two or three courses, so there'll be something for everyone regardless of the size of your appetite! These pre-theatre meal deals are also the perfect solution to spending a date night in England's capital. Imagine a beautifully cooked meal in a London bistro before surprising your loved ones to tickets to see one of the West End's highly acclaimed musicals. Tickets can be ordered directly from the theatres, although they may be cheaper if booked on-line through a last minute merchant. Think about it, it really would be a wonderful way to spend the evening before retreating back to The Montcalm, one of the most romantic hotels in London, for a blissful night's sleep in the epitome of luxury.
With it's convenient central location, The Montcalm Hotel is perfect for couples who wish to do some sight seeing during their trip to the city. Near Marble Arch, it boasts great travel links with an underground tube station just minutes away. This of course, makes travelling around London quick, easy and cost-effective, meaning that you can spend less time worrying about working out travel schedules and more time enjoying the sights that London has to offer! Oyster travel cards are especially handy if you are planning to travel from place to place whilst in London as they are a pre-paid card that can be used on most forms of London's public transport, including trams, trains, underground tubes and London buses. This nifty little card saves you the hassle of ensuring you've got cash on you to pay for fares, instead simply hand over your card and the fare price gets deducted off your balance, what's more, for added peace of mind, it's also protected against theft.