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Advice needed for upcoming London trip

Advice needed for upcoming London trip

Theatre Fan3
#1Advice needed for upcoming London trip
Posted: 2/5/23 at 1:53pm

I will be headed to London the end of March for my annual "Theatre Week" and am hoping to catch ABBA VOYAGE and NEWSIES but realize that neither of these venues are located in the heart of the West End and am looking for any advice on the best way to get to these venues.  We will be staying in the Russell Square area.  Do we take the underground or do we need to go by train?  Any help will be greatly appreciated.

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Jordan Catalano
#2Advice needed for upcoming London trip
Posted: 2/5/23 at 3:25pm

Haven’t seen ABBA but “Newsies” is accessible via underground, yes. From the station it’s (depending on how fast you walk) around a 10 minute walk to the theatre.  

JasonC3
#3Advice needed for upcoming London trip
Posted: 2/5/23 at 4:03pm

We found the show site info to be accurate.

https://abbavoyage.com/thearena/

The option you take depends on your walking preferences and comfort with different rail routes.

Updated On: 2/5/23 at 04:03 PM

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Mark_E
#4Advice needed for upcoming London trip
Posted: 2/5/23 at 5:21pm

Both very easy to get to as others have mentioned :). Have a great trip. 

Theatre Fan3
#5Advice needed for upcoming London trip
Posted: 2/5/23 at 5:40pm

Thanks for the tips guys ... they are appreciated.  Jordan, you were very helpful with last year's trip, as well.  smiley

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Jordan Catalano
#6Advice needed for upcoming London trip
Posted: 2/5/23 at 5:54pm

Totally my pleasure. Spending a quarter or more of each year in London wasn't something I ever thought I’d be doing so I like being able to help anyone who needs it. 

Theatre Fan3
#7Advice needed for upcoming London trip
Posted: 2/5/23 at 6:11pm

Jordan Catalano said: "Totally my pleasure. Spending a quarter or more of each year in London wasn't something I ever thought I’d be doing so I like being able to help anyone who needs it."

Well I am envious!!  I always look forward to that one week each year but it always goes by way too fast!!

 

 

 

lilpunkin
#8Advice needed for upcoming London trip
Posted: 2/6/23 at 7:01am

For Newsies, either walk to Kings Cross and get the Metropolitan line to Wembley Park (about 20 minutes tube journey) or you can get the Piccadilly line one stop to Kings Cross and on from there. It’s a 5-10 minute walk from Wembley Park station. 

 

For ABBA, walk or take the Piccadilly line one stop to Holborn Station, get the Central Line to Stratford, then switch to the DLR (the DLR is technically not part of the tube but in practice it functions essentially as another tube line and it’s very easy to transfer between the two) and go one stop to Pudding Lane station. The ABBA Arena is right by the station.

However the DLR is separate from the tube in terms of payment, so when you get on the DLR, you need to find one of the big yellow round “tap in” payment portals, and tap your contactless or Oyster card against it. Then tap again as you leave Pudding Lane station. 

If you have a credit or debit card that works contactlessly (or you use contactless payment on your phone) - unless your bank charges you foreign fees - then the cheapest and easiest way to get around London is to use contactless. Oyster Card is more expensive unless you already own one.

Theatre Fan3
#9Advice needed for upcoming London trip
Posted: 2/6/23 at 9:51am

lilpunkin said: "For Newsies, either walk to Kings Cross and get the Metropolitan line to Wembley Park (about 20 minutes tube journey) or you can get the Piccadilly line one stop to Kings Cross and on from there. It’s a 5-10 minute walk from Wembley Park station.



For ABBA, walk or take the Piccadilly line one stop to Holborn Station, get the Central Line to Stratford, then switch to the DLR (the DLR is technically not part of the tube but in practice it functions essentially as another tube line and it’s very easy to transfer between the two) and go one stop to Pudding Lane station. The ABBA Arena is right by the station.

However the DLR is separate from the tube in terms of payment, so when you get on the DLR, you need to find one of the big yellow round “tap in” payment portals, and tap your contactless or Oyster card against it. Then tap again as you leave Pudding Lane station.

If you have a credit or debit card that works contactlessly (or you use contactless payment on your phone) - unless your bank charges you foreign fees - then the cheapest and easiest way to get around London is to use contactless. Oyster Card is more expensive unless you already own one.
"

Thanks so much lilpunkin ... your directions should be pretty simple to follow and that always helps put one at ease when heading out to a venue you've never been to before.  Also, appreciate the heads up about payment when using the DLR.  I do have a contactless card so that should also be easy enough to use.

Now my question for anyone out there .... have you seen either of these shows and are they as good as the reviews I've seen about them?

JasonC3
#10Advice needed for upcoming London trip
Posted: 2/6/23 at 10:40am

Lots of discussion about ABBA over at https://theatreboard.co.uk/thread/8875/abba-voyage-concert-experience if you haven't already looked there.  General consensus is that it is quite good.

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Kitsune
#11Advice needed for upcoming London trip
Posted: 2/26/23 at 4:58pm

I hope it's okay to hijack an earlier thread.

My husband and I are planning on going to London at the end of May. We will be seeing the show in my icon a few times, plus other West End theater. (I'd also like to see Matilda, the immersive Guys and Dolls, and The Burnt City. Looking into whether the tour of The Ocean at the End of the Lane is possible).

I've never been to London and don't have a good sense of how big it is, or how hard it is to get around. Is it worth trying to find a hotel in the West End or the city itself, or are we better off booking a hotel outside of London and saving money?

We'll be doing a lot of theater, but also a good amount of museums and other tourist-y stuff.

JasonC3
#12Advice needed for upcoming London trip
Posted: 2/26/23 at 5:57pm

London is incredibly easy to get around on the Tube and buses fill in the gaps.  Hotel rates often start to increase in May as the summer tourist season begins.

I find it often depends on how much you want to be able to pop in and out of your hotel during the day.  If that's not as important to you, staying outside of the West End and the city center can save you a lot of money.  Of course, then you aren't in quick walking distance to any of the more memorable tourist spots.

I just completed a stay in the Marylbone area which is near both the Marble Arch and Bond Street Tube stations (5-7 minute walking distance to either).  Those took me everywhere I needed to go in terms of museums and theatres in around 20 minutes, usually without changing trains.

Some people find it a pain (which I get), but if you're going to be there for five days or more, in some cases, you'll find much better hotel rates by splitting your trip up and staying at two different hotels.  Some hotel rates drop in the weekend because they most cater to business travelers whereas others increase depending on their location.  I'll sometimes leave the city center and stay at the Andaz Liverpool on the weekends because is rates drop a lot.  Adjacent to the Liverpool Tube station makes it very easy to get around.

Final comment: taking the new Elizabeth line in from Heathrow is easy. Takes a bit longer than Heathrow Express, but is less than half the cost.

 

 

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Kitsune
#13Advice needed for upcoming London trip
Posted: 2/26/23 at 10:51pm

Thank you so much! We prefer to be able to take a breather in the hotel, but it'll depend on how exhorbitant the West End hotels are. 

That's a good tip about splitting hotels, especially since we want to do some short trips to places outside of London.

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ggersten
#14Advice needed for upcoming London trip
Posted: 2/26/23 at 11:06pm

PreCovid Thread on London Hotels on Theatreboard

Updated On: 2/26/23 at 11:06 PM

BIG BALONEY Profile Photo
BIG BALONEY
#15Advice needed for upcoming London trip
Posted: 2/27/23 at 4:24pm

Staying at the Imperial Hotel chain is more reasonable for me. The Tavistock. President. National and two others are all near Russell Square. Happy to stay there and St. Gilles off Oxford St. Is also a favorite.

 

Theatre Fan3
#16Advice needed for upcoming London trip
Posted: 2/27/23 at 5:54pm

BIG BALONEY said: "Staying at the Imperial Hotel chain is more reasonable for me. The Tavistock. President. National and two others are all near Russell Square. Happy to stay there and St. Gilles off Oxford St. Is also a favorite.

"

I would second this.  We've been staying at the Royal National Hotel for our annual theatre week trip for probably the last 10-12 years and never had any complaints.  It's one of the larger hotels in the city and usually quite busy with with lots of student groups, but have undergone some major renovating of a large area of the hotel into their "City Sleeper" section which is geared more towards "adult/business" guests rather than student groups.  Your keycard is used to access the hallway your room is located on thus cutting down on random youth running up and down the halls at all hours of the night.  The staff is friendly and quite helpful, the breakfast is wonderful and the location is perfect being just around the corner from the Russell Square tube station which is on the Piccadilly Line and offers your direct access to the heart of the West End and many major attractions ... and the British Museum is only about a 3 block walk from the hotel.

Updated On: 2/27/23 at 05:54 PM

BertoleAmur
#17Advice needed for upcoming London trip
Posted: 3/2/23 at 11:10am

Sounds like you have a fantastic trip planned for London! As for getting to the ABBA VOYAGE and NEWSIES venues, you'll likely want to use a combination of the underground and maybe even a train depending on the location.

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blaxx
#18Advice needed for upcoming London trip
Posted: 3/2/23 at 7:04pm

Hijacking the thread, TodayTix is showing some tickets available for some otherwise sold out shows, are they reliable?


Listen, I don't take my clothes off for anyone, even if it is "artistic". - JANICE

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jkcohen626
#19Advice needed for upcoming London trip
Posted: 3/4/23 at 1:02pm

blaxx said: "Hijacking the thread, TodayTix is showing some tickets available for some otherwise sold out shows, are they reliable?"

I think they are? I know that on the West End they are at least granted access to seat maps. On Broadway you just select the price point and they assign the seats (I believe they actually have someone go to the box office and buy them once you buy them). 

Speaking of TodayTix, it seems like London Theatre "Week" is currently going on, but I can only figure out how to get tickets from third-party vendors like TodayTix. Does anyone know if there is a way to do it through the official ticket sellers or if I have to go thrid party? 

yyys
#20Advice needed for upcoming London trip
Posted: 3/4/23 at 1:08pm

Yes, I've bought rush and regular tix there for London shows.

blaxx said: "Hijacking the thread, TodayTix is showing some tickets available for some otherwise sold out shows, are they reliable?"

 

Theatre Fan3
#21Advice needed for upcoming London trip
Posted: 3/4/23 at 3:30pm

blaxx said: "Hijacking the thread, TodayTix is showing some tickets available for some otherwise sold out shows, are they reliable?"

I purchased 3 tickets yesterday on TodayTix for the last week in March for The Great British Bake Off Musical in the center of row F of the STALLS  @ £45 … normally £81.  I believe this is a special price for the “Theatre Week” promotion that has been going on and ends today.  I received a confirmation email immediately that stated “Barcode e-tickets will be emailed to you 24 hours prior to showtime.”  A pretty good deal I’d say.

Updated On: 3/4/23 at 03:30 PM

Chuck Lawrence
#22Advice needed for upcoming London trip
Posted: 3/4/23 at 6:17pm

ABBA VOYAGE is mind-blowing!

Theatre Fan3
#23Advice needed for upcoming London trip
Posted: 3/4/23 at 7:53pm

Chuck Lawrence said: "ABBA VOYAGE is mind-blowing!"

That's the impression I've gotten from everything I've read and seen in Youtube videos of people's reviews after going.  I'm thinking this will be a major highlight of this year's trip!!

Theatre Fan3
#24Advice needed for upcoming London trip
Posted: 4/5/23 at 1:02pm

Theatre Fan3 said: "Chuck Lawrence said: "ABBA VOYAGE is mind-blowing!"

That's the impression I've gotten from everything I've read and seen in Youtube videos of people's reviews after going. I'm thinking this will be a major highlight of this year's trip!!
"

And that is exactly how it turned out!!  ABBA VOYAGE was definitely the highlight of the trip ... so much so that after seeing it on Monday evening I turned around an booked again for Friday evening.  I would say that it is a definite MUST SEE for any ABBA FAN and even if you aren't, I think will enjoy the whole experience strictly from a technical aspect.  People ask me "How was it?" "What was it like?" and I tell them I could try to explain it for days but that would still not come close to what the actual experience is like in person.  See it if you have the chance!!

Coming in a close 2nd was NEWSIES!!  I never saw the original Broadway production in person but did see the Pro-Shot version several times when it played as a FATHOM EVENT in cinemas.  I enjoyed it a lot and ended up purchasing the digital download when it became available before it was on Disney+.  The Pro-Shot version was excellent but, after seeing the version at London’s Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre, I might have to say that one even topped the Broadway version.  I had read that one of the reasons that it took the show so long to transfer to London was because they weren't sure they had the dance talent to pull it off.  Well let me tell you, they don't have to wonder about that anymore!!  The immersive nature of this production elevates it to a whole new level.  With the audience sitting on 3 sides of the stage and the actors performing and running thru the aisles, even zip-lining from the rear of the auditorium to the front of the stage.  It was incredible!!  So much so that I turned around and booked a ticket to see it again on the Tuesday matinee since there was only 1 or 2 other options for matinee's on Tuesday.  We arrived Sunday morning in London and decided that we'd hit the ground running and were looking at what shows had matinees that day.  NEWSIES had a 1:00 PM show and a 5:30 PM show.  Normally we would have picked the 1:00 PM show since we figured jet-lag would be catching up to us but opted for the 5:30 PM show instead after noting that the 1:00 PM show was a "Relaxed Performance".  I think it's wonderful that shows offer that option on occasion but we wanted to experience the FULL BLOWN EXPERIENCE and that it was!!  None of us nodded off at any point during the performance.  That would be impossible with the energy this cast was putting out there.  I'm sure that I saw, while we were there, that the show was scheduled to end it's run sometime here the first part of April but now I just read about new cast members joining the company April 19th and that the final show would be June 30, 2023.  So once again, if you get the chance, and haven't already seen it .... GOOO!!!

Another show we all enjoyed was Sheridan Smith in SHIRLEY VALENTINE.  We caught her several years back when she was starring in LEGALLY BLONDE so we thought it would be fun to see her in this.  I am forever amazed at performers that can pull off these "One Person Shows".  She had the audience eating out of her hand the entire evening.  Another one that I would highly recommend.

I had seen the pro-shot of the Broadway cast of ALLEGIANCE at another of the FATHOM EVENTS at the cinema and wanted to check it out while we were there as it, also, was scheduled to end it run shortly.  Having never been to a show at the Charing Cross Theatre we had no idea what a small intimate venue it was but that only enhanced the power of this show.  All of the cast were amazing and it was an added bonus to get to see George Takei and Telly Leung up close like that.

We took in THE GREAT BRITISH BAKE OFF MUSICAL ... it was fun and the cast was excellent but nothing that I would rush to go back to see again.  Another show we took in and left feeling rather "Ehhhh" was BONNIE AND CLYDE.  It obviously has a loyal fan base but, once again, nothing I would care to see again.  A couple of my friends took in OKLAHOMA and said they didn't care for it at all.  While they were at that I went to 2:22 A GHOST STORY.  Another, "Ehhhh".  We took in AIN'T TOO PROUD! as our last show in town on Saturday night.  Great music ... didn't realize I was as unfamiliar with THE TEMPTATIONS music as I was.  I think I like JERSEY BOYS better, and last year we caught THE GRIFTER'S GIRL and really enjoyed that, but this was certainly worth seeing.

Now it's back to the old routine and look forward to next year's trip.  And, YES, I will go back to see ABBA VOYAGE again provided it's still there which I'm pretty sure is almost guaranteed!! smiley

 

Updated On: 4/5/23 at 01:02 PM

Jordan Catalano Profile Photo
Jordan Catalano
#25Advice needed for upcoming London trip
Posted: 4/5/23 at 1:51pm

So happy you had a great trip!! I still need to do that ABBA show!!


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