The theatre scene in London has been flourishing for hundreds of years, ever since the English Reformation. With such an active and vibrant scene, the theatres must be great as well. Since there are so many options in London, we will help you narrow down the giant list to a handful of favorites that we think are the best theatres in London.
The Old Vic
With 1,000 seats and a wealth of history, The Old Vic is an independent not-for-profit theatre that’s been in operation for 200 years. Having staged some of the best productions in London featuring some of theatre’s best actors, The Old Vic strives to continue to be a world leader in creativity and entertainment.
The Old Vic is mercurial: it can transform into a theatre in the round, a space for music and comedy, has played host to opera, dance, cinema, music hall, classical dramas, variety, clowns, big spectacles and novelty acts.
Royal Opera House
London’s Royal Opera House is home to The Royal Ballet, The Royal Opera and also the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House. The venue works to enrich people’s lives through opera and ballet. The historical and massive facility is open to the public during the day for tours and you should try to attend. After more than 200 years of operation, the theatre underwent a massive renovation that was complete in time for the new millennium.
The Royal Opera continues to widen its audience through a range of innovative means: through cinema broadcasts, through television and radio broadcasts, through free YouTube broadcasts and through the BP Big Screens, which are broadcast for free to open spaces around the UK.
Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre
Considered a London landmark, the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre is “a firm fixture of summer in the city, providing a cultural hub in the beautiful surroundings of a Royal Park.” A theatre under the stars is always beautiful. This Open Air Theatre is one of the best outdoor venues in the world. Even with 1,240 seats, there is a sense of intimacy in the venue.
Established in 1932, the award winning Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre is one of the largest theatres in London. Situated in the beautiful surroundings of a Royal Park, both its stage and auditorium are entirely uncovered.
A fixture in London’s South Bank, the National Theatre is comprised of three separate theatre auditoriums: the Olivier, the Lyttleton, and the Dorfman. Featuring everything from Shakespeare and other classics to new musicals and plays by contemporary authors and composers.
On the South Bank of the Thames, in London, the National Theatre presents up to 25 new shows a year. There are three theatres, a learning centre, theatre tours, restaurants, a riverside bar and a bookshop.
Located in Central London, the London Coliseum is one of London’s largest and luxurious venues. Home to the English National Opera, they also stage concerts and other musicals. You will also find dance, ballet, and other theatrical productions in the 2,359 seats.
Designed by Sir Oswald Stoll, Stoll’s ambition was to create the largest and finest ‘people’s palace of entertainment’ of the age.
The vibrant and flourishing theatre scene in London includes several historical and beautiful theatres. So which will you try when you are in town? After your visit to London, you may want to review The Most Impressive Broadway Productions in History.