West End Theatre has long been associated with star power. From the earliest days of London theatre, the name of an actor or actress has proved a powerful draw for audiences, and producers have relied more and more on star names to pull in advance bookings, publicity and big audiences. Some of the stars have made their names on the London stage, seemingly coming from nowhere and wowing critics and audiences with a performance that immediately projects them into the star league. Other stars have made their names elsewhere, whether it's in film and TV, as reality TV contestants or even politicians and sportsmen.
We have categorised our Star Watch section into a number of themes: All Stars highlights a wide range of stars who are currently appearing or are about to appear in the West End; Big stars in town features West End, Hollywood and Broadways legends, TV and movie stars and theatre big-hitters; New stars on the rise includes those tipped by us and other theatre-related publications and websites as stars on the ascendant and to watch in the future; and stars by gender - Female stars and Male stars. We have also included a Star Watch Archive to cover all stars we have featured so far but who are no longer appearing in the highlighted show.