Louise’s favourite UK theatres

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louisemayer

Updated 3 months ago

Chichester Festival Theatre

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Portsmouth, United Kingdom • Recommendation • 

There are actually two theatres on the same site in Chichester ... the main Festival Theatre and the Minerva, a smaller adjunct. Both are far less conservative in their choices of drama than they used to be, though the Minerva can probably claim to be the most adventurous. Certainly you get added frisson simply on account of the intimacy of the experience. Quite a few Chichester productions end up in London. Catch them first, less expensively here. Personal favourites in last few years were Enron, Quiz, Ross, Lear.

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The Bridge Theatre

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London, United Kingdom • Recommendation • 

This is London’s newest commercial theatre and is magnificently located just by Tower Bridge. The foyer is a beautiful space and the versatile performance area changes every time I visit it. Most importantly it is the brainchild of Nicholas Hytner ( ex Nat Theatre ) who wants to offer quality drama at sensible prices. The West End is dauntingly expensive. My favourite so far has been an immersive production of Julius Caesar where I had a great time as part of the mob! However if that is not your thing , fear not, you can sit down normally and watch a show here.

  • 3 Potters Fields Park, Chiswick, London SE1 2SG, UK

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The Globe Theatre (Shakespeare's Globe)

4 saves

London, United Kingdom • Recommendation • 

The best bargain in London! I go to virtually every performance there and spend only £5 to be a groundling. This means I stand in the yard of this beautiful reconstructed Elizabethan theatre. It is a fantastic experience whether you watch Shakespeare or non Shakespeare, the latter often less crowded. Hats off to Sam Wanamaker whose original idea it was. If you are not sure if you can stand for three hours, give it a try anyway. You can always leave at the interval! I bet you won’t leave! I am 65 and find it fine ....

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Sam Wanamaker Theatre

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London, United Kingdom • Recommendation • 

This beautiful intimate indoor theatre is in the same complex as the Globe. (See my earlier recommendation ). It is a perfect reconstruction of an indoor Jacobean theatre, meant for the wealthy at the time, unlike the Globe which catered for all classes! It is a candlelit jewel box and it is worth going to see it whatever is on, just to experience its beauty. It really is completely candlelit so go soon before it burns down. Tickets start at £10 if you stand but you may wish to pay a little more and sit for best view. Unlike at the Globe itself where personally I think you get great view standing.

  • Southbank London

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Royal Shakespeare Company

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Solihull, United Kingdom • Recommendation • 

The main theatre in Stratford Upon Avon , situated on the banks of the river. Home of the Royal Shakespeare Company. Personally I have never liked the outside which looks so much like a 1930s civic building. However the inside is now great after a recent total overhaul. Instead of the old stage with its inappropriate proscenium arch, the inside is now so much more like an Elizabethan theatre. Quality productions with excellent acting.

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National Theatre

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London, United Kingdom • Recommendation • 

The National Theatre is a late 20 th century concrete monstrosity on the South bank of the Thames. But inside it is home to three excellent stages: the Olivier, the Lyttleton and the Dorfman. Of these I prefer the large Olivier and the little Dorfman but sight lines are good in all and that is not true of older London theatres. Also the prices are far lower than the West End. Look out for Travelex £15 seats. Recently saw Ralph Fiennes and Sophie Okenedu in excellent Antony and Cleo.

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The Other Palace

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London, United Kingdom • Recommendation • 

I went here for the first time this week. It is a new theatre opened in 2012 on the site of the Westminster Theatre, which was damaged by fire. There are two auditoria but even the bigger one is on the small side, about 300 seats. Because of this and the theatre’s modernity, all seats provide excellent views. My followers know I find most West End theatres hopeless for a good view unless you are willing to overpay! I was disappointed in the show itself, a musical comedy, but will definitely give the theatre another chance. Extremely convenient for Victoria.

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Everyman Theatre

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Liverpool, United Kingdom • Recommendation • 

I used to go to the Everyman in Liverpool between 1970 and 1974. I read on wikipedia that it was cutting edge and very political! I know I loved it. Saw a young Antony Sher there and I think Julie Walters. Anyhow it looks a lot swisher nowadays and its reputation is as high as ever. Need to revisit.

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Royal Albert Hall

5 saves

London, United Kingdom • Recommendation • 

I realise it is a concert hall not a theatre! but I went here last night for probably about the 20th time in my life. It is a special place. Tickets to high profile events can be expensive but all through the Summer you can get £6 tickets at the world renowned festival of classical music known as the BBC proms.

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