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Theatreland Tours

Audio Tour, voiced by Ian McKellen

Ian McKellen Theatreland Audio Tour

Play the starring role in a tour of London’s historic West End with the help of British acting icon Ian McKellen. Taking you from theatre to theatre on a route from Leicester Square through to Covent Garden, Embankment and The Strand, McKellen will divulge secrets of the stage and tell the story of some of the capital’s most fascinating buildings.

You’ll travel back in time to experience Theatreland as it was for actors and audiences 300 years ago, before electric lights and moving sets, when audiences showed their disapproval by throwing fruit at the stage. With McKellen as your guide, you’ll learn the stories of the actors, architects and managers who shaped this unique part of London, turning it from one of the city’s most disreputable slums to the glittering heart of British theatre.

As you wind your way through the backstreets and alleyways of the West End, McKellen will recount fascinating stories from his illustrious career on the stage; his favourite venues, his least favourite performances and where he made his professional acting debut. A must for thespians and history lovers alike, this tour recounts the captivating story of London theatre and reveals the secrets of one of city’s most iconic districts.

To get this FREE audio tour:

1. Install VoiceMap on your phone (click here to download).
2. Sign up with email or Facebook, tap for London tours, then look for “Theatreland Tour with Ian McKellen” in London.
3. Download the tour with WiFi.
4. Head to the TKTS ticket booth in Leicester Square, where the tour begins and ends.

Theatreland Walking Tours with Diane Burstein

The Theatreland Walking Tour returns for the summer. The first three dates will be:

Sunday 19 April, Sunday 17 May and Sunday 21 June at 2.30pm meeting at Covent Garden tube station. Booking is essential through this link.

This tour of Covent Garden and the surrounding area treats you to historical vignettes and anecdotes about the West End’s most illustrious personalities. See Central London’s oldest theatre and hear about its many ghosts, view the Royal Opera House and hear about the riots which took place there.

Visit a haunted stage door where an actor was brutally murdered. Discover the “Actors’ Church” and stand on the spot where Eliza Doolittle sold her flowers. See the home of a leading 18th century actor/manager who introduced many innovations to the stage.

Hear about the hotel which was built from the profits of a theatre , see the theatre where a famous literary character was “born” and discover how today’s fringe theatre scene developed from the theatre clubs of the early 20th century.

Your blue badge guide, Diane Burstein, has extensive knowledge of today’s theatre scene so you’ll find out all the latest production news in addition to discovering London’s theatrical past.

If you click through to seat selection (where you'll see either best available or a seating plan), you will be seeing the most up-to-date prices. If this differs from what we've written on the calendar, please bear with us, as those prices will update soon.

We now sell our famous TKTS Booth discounts online here at Official London Theatre.

Monday 6 April: The following statement has been issued by the Society of London Theatre (SOLT) on behalf of the major commercial West End theatre operators and the Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers (STAR), to provide clear information for customers with regards to their theatre bookings and help ease the unprecedented strain on box offices and ticket agents in light of the Covid 19 pandemic.

We are now cancelling all performances up until and including 31 May 2020 to help us process existing bookings whilst we wait for further clarity from the government in terms of when we will be able to reopen. We are so sorry that in these testing and difficult times you are not able to enjoy the show you have booked for and hope the following helps clarify next steps in respect of your tickets.

There is nothing that you need to do if your performance has been cancelled, but we do ask for your patience.

If you have booked directly with the theatre or show website for an affected performance, please be assured that they will contact you directly to arrange an exchange for a later date, a credit note/voucher or a refund. If you have booked via a ticket agent they will also be in contact with you directly.

Theatre box office and ticket agents teams are continuing to work through the very high number of ticket orders affected by the cancellations. An average of 300,000 people a week attend West End theatres, so this a huge task. The situation is exacerbated by the fact that all our teams are now working remotely in response to government restrictions, many with reduced numbers of staff due to the virus, and this will be adding to the time it will take us to process your order.

We are processing in strict date order of performance, so you are likely to be contacted after the date you were due to go to the theatre. However, we want to reassure you that you will be contacted, and your order will be processed, but please do bear with us.

We’d like to thank everyone who has been patient and kind in dealing with their ticket providers so far and we are sorry that we cannot process your order as quickly as we would like.

Please do not contact your credit card company as that will slow the process down and put an additional burden on our box office and ticket agent teams.

In order for us to serve our audiences the best we can, please do not get in touch with your point of sale if you have booked for performances after 31 May. Please be reassured that if we have to cancel future performances you will be directly contacted by your theatre or ticket provider. Our producers continue to plan for all eventualities dependent on the individual needs of their shows and we will provide further updates on specific shows as and when they become available.

We look forward to welcoming you back into our theatres as soon as we are allowed to resume performances. In the meantime stay safe and healthy.