"What are you up to tonight?"
"Well, I'm off to the theatre..."
Everyone wants to be able to say that.
Nothing does a better job of banishing the perception of you night after night in front of the telly with a Findus Crispy Pancake than "Well, I'm off to the theatre..."
It's cultured, it's glamourous, it's erudite, it's urbane... it's all those other words which you barely understand and which people seldom use to typically describe you. Which is brilliant, because that's what the theatre is all about. It's escapism. But it's escapism without the amniotic protection of the TV or cinema screen. You're right there, just rows from the action, in the thick of it. So close, you can see the beads of sweat on Simon Callow's over-worked brow.
But the production and the performance are just half the story. The playhouses themselves are the unsung heros of "theatre", creating atmosphere, a sense of occasion and inspiring a great performance from the cast.
We've put together a list of what we think are London's greatest theatres.