London has enjoyed a reputation for quality theatre since the time of Shakespeare and, despite the continuing dominance of blockbuster musicals and revenue-spinning star vehicles, still provides platforms for innovation and new writing. The West End is the heart of “Theatreland”, with Shaftesbury Avenue its most congested drag, but the term is more of a conceptual pigeon-hole than a geographical term. Some of the most exciting work is performed in what have become known as the Off-West End theatres, while further down the financial ladder still are the fringe theatres, more often than not pub venues, where ticket prices are lower, and quality more variable.

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