A few critics/bloggers have been writing about their favourite theatres and so I thought I’d jump on the bandwagon and list mine. I’ll limit myself to 5 though.
This is an extremely subjective list, based not just on the building but the memories of productions I’ve seen in them too.
In at number one without a shadow of a doubt is The Royal Opera House Covent Garden. My first visit there was last year. It is such a magnificent building that has all the grandeur and impressiveness you expect.
It just oozes atmosphere and spectacle. I love the way the lights are beamed out of the central rose in the ceiling which closes up when the production is not on. I’ve seen several amazing productions here, most memorable were Manon and La Traviata, both last year. The Royal Opera House Orchestra are the best in the world in my opinion and so any visit to hear them play is worth it. I recommend everyone goes the ROH at least once, it’s a whole experience. I love it.
2) The National Theatre
I know it was described as looking like a nuclear power station by Prince Charles. What goes on inside this venue though is what counts.
I first visited this theatre back when I was in junior school, on a school trip to see Sylvester McCoy as the title role in The Pied Piper. Since then I’ve been back many times, seeing Wind in the Willows in the 90′s, I saw Every Good Boy Deserves Favour a few years ago and that re-ignited my regular attendance there. Other recent memorable visits include, London Road and The Cherry Orchard.
One of the best things about The National Theatre is its food and drink options, I especially love the Terrace Bar. It also houses my favourite bookshop of all time. If you have an interest in theatre make the effort to visit their bookshop, I can often be found perusing its shelves.
3) The Miller Centre Theatre – Caterham
Again not the prettiest from the outside but inside it’s a gem of a theatre. For an amateur theatre it is kitted out better than some professional theatres. I know I’m biased as I’m part of the production committee. This theatre is special to me. I’ve learnt much by being involved in its running and was there just this morning picking up some scripts for our 2013/14 season. I’ve met some wonderful people here, many who I count as close and special friends. I’ve also witnessed some extremely funny things happen here, both onstage and backstage – but best to keep those to myself
4) Theatre Royal Bath
This theatre and its studio theatre The Ustinov and children’s theatre The Egg I went to regularly when I lived in the area. It puts on a varied and diverse range of theatre. I owe a large amount to this theatre as I developed my passion and appreciation of theatre seeing productions here. I especially liked being able to see plays preview here before going to the West End at half the West End ticket price! Hedda Gabler was the last production I saw in the main house. I must book a trip down to Bath soon!
5) The Abbey Theatre – Dublin
I was fortunate enough to visit Dublin last year and this theatre was a highlight of my time there seeing Translations. A vibrant, modern theatre that was buzzing the night I visited. Again I look forward to when I can next see something there.
So that’s my top five, plenty almost made it into it, and perhaps if I do the list in a few years time, they’ll make their way into the top five. For now though that’s it.