A theatre? What is so good about a theatre? I hear you say, apart from the obvious enjoyment of the evening and perhaps matinee performances. Well the National Theatre, I believe, is unlike any other theatre for the enormous variety not only in the productions being shown but all the other things that this building has to offer!
Situated on the Southbank which is considered to be one of the great cultural hotspots of London, the National Theatre gave their first ever performance in 1963 and since then has produced over 600 plays.
After the theatre’s move from the Old Vic premises to its present position in 1976, there have been over 1000 performances every year, given by a company of 150 actors to over 600,000 people! This in itself is a monumental achievement, but it’s not just the figures that are so impressive, it’s the sheer quality of the performances which are on offer; many of the recent ones such as ‘Warhorse’ and ‘One Man, Two Guvnors’ have gone on to have worldwide acclaim.
However, for me, it is not only the high calibre of acting which is a draw but also the price of the tickets. If one is able to drag oneself out of bed for an early enough hour and arrive at the National Theatre sometime between 8 and 9am, tickets are on offer for only £10 per person for performances that evening and often they have some of the best views! If you are between 16 and 25, the Entry Pass can obtained where allows you to get tickets for future performances of any production for as little as £5! When the theatre is cheaper than a 2 for 1 Orange Wednesday ticket, there really is no excuse not to go!
But it is not just in the evening when the theatre comes alive, throughout the day there are talks from such eminent actors as Simon Callow, free live music productions, art exhibitions such as ‘Landscape Photographer of the Year’ and backstage tours where one is able to go behind the scenes and see what really goes in to creating some of these impressive productions. If one gets a little peckish, the theatre also houses a restaurant, a bar and a cafe selling freshly baked cakes with sweeping views from the Houses of Parliament in the west, across to Somerset House and east to the City of London and St Pauls Cathedral-there really is no better place in London to sit with a cappuccino and drink in the views!
TOP TIP if you are between 16 and 25, the Entry Pass can obtained where allows you to get tickets for future performances of any production for as little as £5! Also if you’re into your theatre and between 19-23, its worth checking out Mousetrap Theatre Production’s West End for £10. Once a month, you can go see some big west end productions for only a tenner!
Author: Phoebe Sutton