Top 10 UK Theatre Blogs

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From blockbuster West End musicals to the latest star-filled play; London has something to offer every theatre goer. So much so, The Stage revealed in their London Theatre Report, that a massive 22m people bought theatre tickets in 2012/13, bringing in £620m to the capitals economy.

The London Evening Standard also revealed that London theatregoing far outstripped the entire football Premier League attendances for last season, the likes of Arsenal and Chelsea only attracted 13m fans to live games; back of the net!

So with live performances thriving in 2014 and with this in mind, we have upgraded our original top five and “promoted” five of the UK’s best theatre blogs to make up our new top ten list.

In no particular order, here are our favourites:

West End Whingers – westendwhingers.wordpress.com

West End WhingersPhil and Andrew – known to their followers as the West End Whingers – cover the London theatre scene through a series of reviews on their blog and cleverly decide whether or not they are worth going out to see, to whether you should stay home with a glass of Merlot. Each production is given a rating out of five, measured by glasses of red wine. The boy’s blog also features a comic strip of photographs of them schmoozing with the actors back stage. It’s a great blog with regular updates, so if you are lucky enough to be spoiled for choice in London, take a peek on their page before buying tickets.
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London Theatre Blog – www.londontheatreblog.co.uk

London Theatre BlogThe London Theatre Bloggers are a group of theatre loving critics founded by Andrew Eglinton, a PhD student researching documentary drama. The blog delves a little deeper into the ideas and creation of each performance reviewed, and seeks to contribute to theatre cultures by giving writers a platform upon which to share their ideas about various plays and musicals they have seen, and their significance in today’s society. The site also features a interviews section, where budding writers have interviewed their favourite stage stars. Take a look at Lilly Dominic’s article on “The Life and Times of a New Graduate Working in Theatre,” for a really interesting insight into the difficulties faced by budding theatre critics keen to make a living out of loving theatre.
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TheatreVOICE – www.theatrevoice.com

Theatre VoiceTheatreVOICE markets itself as the web’s leading resource for audio about British theatre. It’s key feature is a series of podcasts available to listen to or download by users. The podcasts take the form of reviews, interviews with various stage favourites, or discussions around other elements of stage performance, such as local and regional theatre or physical and visual. It’s a really interesting take on the traditional theatre blog, and could actually be described as a news platform for all things theatre in the UK. This is definitely a go to blog if you are a theatre lover in the UK.
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There Ought to be Clowns – www.oughttobeclowns.blogspot.co.uk

There Ought to be ClownsThere Ought to be Clowns is a brilliant place to find reviews of plays, musical theatre, TV and film, describing itself as a “theatrical diary” which actually turns out to be a very accurate description. The gentleman in question does not mention a background or where he or she is from, only that they consider themselves a theatre critic, which certainly comes across in the reviews on this site. There Ought to be Clowns is a very carefully thought out theatrical journal, with top notch reviews and a deeper look into both TV and film as well as on stage productions. This is a great place to get inspiration if you are thinking about starting a theatre blog yourself.
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West End Wilma – www.westendwilma.com

West End WilmaWest End Wilma prides herself on being an all-round theatre expert – from in depth and honest reviews to booking tickets online, where to sit and when to go. The blog features articles on interesting topics such as theatre etiquette and advice on booking tickets in various theatres, restricted view seats and what to avoid when trying to pick up budget tickets. It’s a great platform to check out if you are unfamiliar with the London theatre scene, or indeed if you are buying tickets for the first time, as some websites can be confusing, and it’s often impossible to tell if “restricted access tickets” are really restricted. This lady knows her stuff so definitely check it out!
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Dan Hutton – www.dan-hutton.co.uk

Dan HuttonThis really sleek and critically acclaimed blog is a mixture of intellectual reviews and interviews. The in-depth interviews are journalistic in style rather than a more basic Q&A, which makes sense when you realise the author also writes features for magazines. Dan Hutton is also a theatre director which gives his blog a unique angle, especially when it comes to the descriptions of staging and pacing of the plays. If you are looking for a blog with a bit of cerebral criticism on current plays; this is the place to go.
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Rev Stan – www.theatre.revstan.com

Rev Stan logoAs Stan states “it’s all about theatre and films with me”, so you know exactly what you are getting. Mainly reviews, but with a few previews and trailers of upcoming shows, he (it could be a she!) is pretty prolific (average of four posts a week). He also does some nice tongue-in-cheek posts; see “Five things we know about Martin Freeman’s Richard III”. On the scene since 2007, it has a chatty style, with many references to personal theatre experiences; making it massively accessible, especially for those looking for a not-too-serious review of some of the top West End plays and shows. He doesn’t do musicals.
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everything theatre – www.everything-theatre.co.uk

Everything theatreThis blog, and now website, offers a much younger point of view. Thanks to a host of contributors they get through reviews of c15 productions in London every week. From large-scale productions to tiny fringe shows in pubs; there isn’t much they haven’t seen. Handily they categorise reviews by genre (musical, drama etc) and type (West End, outdoor etc) which makes it easy if you are looking for something specific. If you are interested in new writers, they have a podcast section which highlights up-and-coming writers’ work. Their aim is to be honest and unpretentious in their views; and that is exactly what it delivers.
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Glasgow Theatre Blog – www.glasgowtheatreblog.com

Lauren Humphreys - glasgow theatre blogHeading north of the border to Scotland, the aim of this theatre blog is to publicise and review arts events in Glasgow and the Greater Glasgow area (but there is the odd trip to London as well). Writer Lauren Humphrey has secured some big-name interviews, such as Michael Palin, as well as providing a “Whats On” and news section to keep you up to date with upcoming shows and theatre gossip. The features are fun and quite random, Lego theatres anyone? However this adds a light and diverting dimension to the blog which has a nice tartan theatre angle.
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My so called life in a box – www.mysocalledlifeinabox.wordpress.com

Kayleigh LlewllynLast but by no means least we just had to include this frankly hilarious blog. Writer, improviser and feminist, Kayleigh Llewellyn, takes a swipe at the other side of life in theatreland; by commenting on her work in a London box office and her bizarre interactions with the ticket-buying public. In her hands exchanges, from the mundane to the ludicrous, are all treated with a wry comic touch. Just one word of warning, these visually appealing snippets might see you lose hours of your day laughing as you can’t help but scroll down to the next gem.
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If these theatre blogs have inspired you, why not check out some of the latest deals for London theatre tickets.

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About Author

Kirsten Beacock

Kirsten is the chief blogger here at lastminute.com. A former newspaper journalist (don’t hold that against her), having taken extensive trips to China, America and Australasia, she is now pouring her passion for travel into writing blogs and features for the lastminute.com website. Arriving in London via exotic Scunthorpe, Kirsten has made it her mission to try out as many pubs and restaurants as she possibly can in the capital.

3 Comments

  1. Interesting that your 2nd top blog has not been updatd in 4 (!!) years! (two years since the conception of the article.) I can name MANY great and active theatre blogs that could pip this to the post!
    Also, whilst I like them, I don’t think that many of the “blogs” you listed areblogs?

    • Kirsten Beacock
      Kirsten Beacock on

      You make a very good point re number 2! – I am on the case to find a better alternative. Or have you got a couple of suggestions I can look at first? Am always open to others thoughts. Re the second point; its tricky with the definition of blogs these days, I think I make clear that one is technically not a blog, more a website, but worth including as it offers something different. Also with blogs getting sleeker and more professional; some do resemble websites – but I think these are all fabulous resources for theatre fans.

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