People head to the UK for an assortment of reasons.  Many go to see the sights like Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, and the London Eye.  Many go to the UK to escape to the countryside towns like Canterbury.  And many go to see the performances on England’s version of Broadway in London.  The truth of the matter is although New York City might claim that they perfected theater, it was London that invented it.  On a nightly basis there are a half-dozen shows that will inspire the imagination and entertain you beyond belief.  Even if you’re not a theater person, there is surely a show for you in the UK.  And if London’s art scene isn’t enough for you, there are plenty of other places across the UK to witness them.

arts London

London, England


Obviously the granddaddy of the UK performing arts scene.  It’s here that the Nutcracker ballet show takes place and it’s here that fascinating shows like the Lion King take to the stage.  These are no only some of the best shows in the UK, but perhaps the best in the entire world.  Moreover, if you can’t find Lion King tickets there are a half dozen smaller shows that take place each and every night.  In fact, you might be better off avoiding the big shows and heading down to one of the smaller more intimate venues for a different kind of experience all together.

arts Dublin

Dublin, Ireland


Ireland’s most famous city is also a great place to take in the performing arts.  For someone who loves the arts and beer it’s hard to imagine a better way to spend your evening than sipping on a nicely poured Guinness while taking in a show.  The best shows in town generally take place at the Bord Gais Energy Theater.  However, I’ve heard from some that if you go to the school of performing arts in town there are often amateur shows that will also give you a great, and cheap, sampling of the arts.

arts Edinbugh

Edinburgh, Scotland


The Scottish city of Edinburgh is almost like a fairy tale town.  A castle sits atop a hill overlooking parks and Victorian houses.  Narrow streets climb fantastic hills and the charm is absolutely endless.  Like Dublin and London, Edinburgh holds a wealth of opportunity to take in performing arts and theater.  Edinburgh playhouse is the top venue in town for shows, but like Dublin it’s a great idea to head to the school of the arts to see if there’s a free or cheap show going on there as well.

arts Manchester

Manchester, England


Yes, I think Manchester kind of sucks, but the truth is that the nightlife in town is really good.  You have your choice between bumping clubs, bristling pubs and a number of venues that have live music, comedy and theater. The two best places in town for comedy are the comedy store and the Frog and Bucket.  If you’re after live music then the Bridgewater hall is generally a pretty safe bet.  As for theater, you’ll want to give the palace a go as there seems to always be something going on there.

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