Created to ease the flow of traffic and named originally after the Earl of Shaftesbury, Shaftesbury Avenue is a major thoroughfare in central London connecting Oxford Street and Piccadilly Circus.
Its greatest claim to fame is the multitude of theatres that jostle for space along its length; this is the centre of London's famous "Theatreland". Although most of the theatres are on Shaftesbury Avenue itself, some of the theatre district extends onto the Strand and surrounding streets as well.
Some of the well-known venues that pepper Shaftesbury Avenue include: The Adelphi Theatre, The Cambridge Theatre, The Dominion, The Theatre Royal, Her Majesty's Theatre, The London Palladium, The Old Vic, The Palace Theatre (home of Les Misérables and Spamalot) and, of course, The Shaftesbury Theatre. These venues have played host to the resurgence of British theatre in recent years with some of Hollywood's finest treading the boards in London rather than on Broadway.