a visit to a top attraction. Experiencing a West End show is top of any ‘ must-do’ list, thanks to the huge choice of shows and the world-class standard of the productions. Plus, with so many new shows arriving on theatreland’ s doorstep, it is an ever-changing buffet of theatrical treats.
And the reason why London theatre is probably the biggest sales outlet for coach tour operators.
The West End’ s longest running shows will always have crowds hammering at their doors and prove time and time again to be sure-fire hits with coach passengers. Broadway smash-hit Wicked is still running in the West End after more than a decade and has now been seen by over 6 million people.
Long running shows such as Les Miserables, the Lion King, Phantom of the Opera and Mamma Mia! continue to be hugely popular with coach groups and have now been joined by newer hits including Beautiful – The Carole King Musical, now in its third year at the Aldwych Theatre; the RSC’ s Matilda, the multi-award winning musical inspired by the book by Roald Dahl; the contrasting Kinky Boots, now in its second year at London’ s Adelphi Theatre; and School of Rock – Andrew Lloyd Webber’ s latest hit at the New London Theatre.
Motown The Musical at the Shaftesbury Theatre, has been another big hit with coach parties. It follows the legendary career of Berry Gordy and the creation of his musical empire, Motown Records which featured artists such as Diana Ross and the Supremes, Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, Marvin Gaye, The Temptations and more. The show features classic hits such as “My Girl”, “Stop! In The Name of Love”, “Dancing in the Street”, “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” and “Ain’ t No Mountain High Enough”.
These long-running and newer shows will be joined in 2017 by some brand new productions that are sure to be smash hits with coach passengers too. Broadway transfer, An American In Paris comes to London’ s Dominion Theatre from March 2017. Prepare to be swept away by the breathless romance and dazzling spectacle of Broadway’ s Tony Award-winning hit musical as it comes to London with the original stars, Robert Fairchild and Leanne Cope. This stunning re-imagining of the Oscar winning film starring Gene Kelly, features some of the greatest music and lyrics ever written by George and Ira Gershwin.
However, An American in Paris has competition for the must-see theatrical event of 2017 in the form of 42nd Street, coming to the West End’ s biggest stage at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane from March 2017. 42nd Street is the song and dance, American dream fable of Broadway that features such iconic songs as “We’ re In The Money”, “Lullaby of Broadway” and “Dames”. Grammy Award winner Sheena Easton joins an all singing, high-kicking cast in this new West End production.
But it’ s not all greasepaint and high-kicks in the West End as more and more coach groups look to make their visit that extra bit special by combining with a visit to a top attraction. Traditional favourites – all CTA members and supporters – such as the Tower Of London, Kensington Palace, the Houses of Parliament, Madame Tussaud’ s, ZSL London Zoo, the Royal Albert Hall, Shakespeare’ s Globe and Kew Gardens are now joined by Ripley’ s Believe It or Not!, The View from the Shard and for a bite to eat and rock nostalgia, Planet Hollywood. Or for Gunners fans, there’ s a stadium tour at Arsenal. And of course there is a great choice of trips and water-borne tours on the Thames with City Cruises, Thames River Services and Thames Clippers. Sail down to Greenwich and visit the Royal Museums Greenwich – the National Maritime Museum, Queen’ s House, Royal Observatory and the Cutty Sark.
Theatre tickets for groups – as well as ‘ add-ons’ such as attraction visits, special interest tours and meals – can all be booked through CTA members including Encore Tickets, Groups Direct, Group Line, Hospitality Line, See Tickets and Ticketmaster.