Theatre Breaks Helps London's Musicals Hit the Road As 1 in 4 Visitors Take in a Show

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London's Theatreland is hoping to duplicate the increasingly beneficial effect that a big show can have on local tourism by taking more new shows on tour round the UK in 2014. Whilst back in London, the increased popularity of "The West End Musical" is seeing more new shows start successful runs.

Wicked in London, New York and Edinburgh for Christmas 2014

Visitors will be able to enjoy Wicked in Milton Keynes, Cardiff, Dublin and Edinburgh as well as London and New York in 2014

We are always keen to offer new events and destinations. 2014 is looking to be an exciting year.

London's musicals have been in the spotlight this year, with new shows courtesy of West End favourites Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber, musicals inspired by Roddy Doyle and Roal Dahl, box office records being broken and the current Channel 4 TV show bringing all this action to the nation. So little wonder then that theatre, hotel and travel packages are becoming a more popular form of staycation with 24% of visitors to London taking in a show.

Successful new shows this year have included The Commitments, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Once and From Here To Eternity, with the whole of theatreland waiting with baited breath to see how Andrew Lloyd Webber's new musical, Stephen Ward, will be greeted by critics and audience alike. Not to mention Boublil and Schönberg's Asian giant, Miss Saigon: opening next year and already posting records with the biggest first day sales.

But London has started taking the campaign to the people and hits such as Disney's The Lion King, Mamma Mia, Wicked and Michael Morpurgo's War Horse are touring the country finding new audiences. Theatre and hotel packages for Disney's The Lion King are now available in Liverpool and Edinburgh as well as London and New York. Even West End veteran, Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap, will venture forth into the regions in 2014.

Theatre Breaks have been offering culturally-led, destination-unique vacations for over 30 years but, with the globalisation of "the musical", it is now possible to see many "West End" hits all over the world.

"When we started in 1980 it was all about bringing theatregoers to London" says Simon Harding now of online travel site, "but with more and more big shows touring, London is going to the rest of the world. The only issue is the age old disagreement about how to spell the word 'theater'!"

Theatre and hotel packages are already especially popular in Scotland where theatregoers are able to take a short break to Edinburgh rather than go all the way to London to see a show.

Prices for a one night theatre break in a named central four star hotel with top price tickets to see Disney's The Lion King before Christmas start at £127 per person in Edinburgh, £147 per person in London and £227 per person in New York.Prices for The Lion King breaks in Liverpool will be £129 per person when it opens in May 2014. Prices are based on two people sharing a twin room and include taxes - travel is NOT included.

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Kingsley Deplume

Simon Harding
Theatre Breaks
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