London has always been the seat of literary excellence and cultural buoyancy over the years. The timeline that covers the Elizabethan Era had reached the pinnacle and England, rather the cultural group of the time witnessed the boom in the field of plays which were staged in the biggest theater and this age is considered to be the best as far as the cultural history of England is concerned.
London had been the place which saw the rise of many theaters which later came to the largest theater and at the same time the best-known ones. It went on till the coming of the Puritan Age which significantly affected the cultural life of England. We are going to speak about the 11 best and the biggest theater in London here. So let’s have a stroll around them.
Here are the top 11 most famous Biggest and Best theaters in London in 2017-2018
11. Theatre Royal, Bath
Built in the year 1805, The Theatre Royal is situated at Bath in England, is one of the oldest among the theaters of London. It was built following the Georgian theater architecture. The theater accommodates around 900 audiences. Prior to that, a special act was passed in the year 1768 in the parliament and thereafter it got its permission to be built. It has a history of about 200 years. It has a royal background of the Shakespeare Unplugged festival being performed out there. Other than the performances it is linked with the memory of the haunted “The Grey Lady”, who was a famous actress and used to watch the production of the biggest theaters from the rows and leaving behind the mild fragrance of jasmine.
10. Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre
The Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre is one of the splendid and charismatic auditoria which happens to be a wonderful place that witnessed the grand Shakespearean drama, comedy as well as the musicals. It was a great pleasure to view the performances amidst of the bountiful and lush green trees of the Regent’s Park. The theater came into being in the year 1932 which was initiated by Robert Atkins and Sydney Carroll. The splendor of the theater is that it is totally uncovered and consists of the longest bars among any theaters of London, making it remarkably romantic theater.
9. The Old Vic
The Old Vic carrying the nostalgic reminisce of the history of British theater culture in Waterloo was built in the year 1818. It was primarily known as Royal Coburg Theatre. It was renamed as the Royal Victoria Theatre, in the year 1833. When it was taken up by Emma Cons in 1880 it was again renamed as the Old Vic. The management of this theater decided to come up with the chronicles of Sir William Shakespeare from the year 1914. The theater carries the flavor of the stalwarts of Laurence Olivier, John Gielgud, Maggie Smith, Peter O’Toole and Judi Dench. This certainly happens to take you in the timeline when the theater was a part and parcel of the culture of England. Old Vic stands out to be the favorite among many of the stage loving London audience.
8. Shakespeare’s Globe
The Globe Theatre is one of the oldest theaters and is deeply linked with the name of Sir William Shakespeare. It is believed to be initiated by Shakespeare’s playing company in the year 1599 under Lord Chamberlain’s Men. This was built on the land which was owned by Thomas Brend, however, it got demolished by fire on 29th June 1613. A splendid theater was rebuilt and flaunts the history of nearly 400 years. The design of the theater is fantastic and it is consists of a large open air theater which is roundish in shape. The typical doughnut shape of the theater make is even more alluring. The Shakespeare’s Globe which is one of the largest theaters has the capacity of accommodating 3000 spectators with the foot diameter of 100 foot.
7. London Coliseum
It is the famous theater in London and a major destination for theater lovers worldwide. The London Coliseum which is also known as the Coliseum Theatre is situated in the St. Martin’s Lane of the central London. This luxurious theater was built in the early 20th century and was opened for the first time in the 24th December 1904, being a part of the London Coliseum Theatre of Varieties. The mighty theater was designed by the famous architect Frank Matcham. It was built with the impression of presenting one of the premium music halls. The theater is one of its kinds and gives the ambiance a royal touch with the Baroque type construction giving the exemplary Edwardian style. The lavish and the grandeur of the interiors are explicit and you can feel being carried back to the timeline of the Royals.
6. Sadler’s Wells
Sadler’s Wells in Islington is one of the theaters which is the seat of dance venue. The theater has covered all forms of dance from the contemporary to flamenco to tap dancing and ballet to tango. Sadler’s Wells Theatre happens to be built in the year 1683. It is situated in the Rosebery Avenue, Clerkenwell. It has the capacity of accommodating 1500 audience, which happens to be in the Lilian Baylis Studio and the main auditorium.
5. Prince Edward Theatre
Prince Edward Theatre was designed in the year of 1930 by the designer Marc-Henri Levy, Edward A. Stone and Gaston Laverdet. It was named after Prince Edward, the then Prince of Wales. It was formally opened on 3rd of April 1930. The historic opening contained the performance by Rio Rita, which was a musical one. The other performance in the debut year included the performance of Josephine Baker, who came up with the famous performance “Bananas Dance”. Most interesting in the history of this theater was that it got converted to a cabaret hall which then came to be known as that of London Casino. Much later in the time of the Second World War, it was immensely damaged by the disastrous air raid of 10th May in 1941.
4. Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff
The Wales Millennium Centre happens to be the seat of the famous ballets, operas, varied musicals and most of the contemporary dance performance. It is majorly known as the theater, studio and that of an orchestral hall as well. It has the capacity of holding 1900 audience. It is remarkable in the history of theater that almost 14 million people have visited the theater since the time it came into existence. It has a fabulous construction with that of metal, wood, slate and glass. It really stands out to be one of the fascinating theaters built till date.
3. National Theatre
The National Theatre is one of the largest theater situated on London’s South Bank. It has three different auditoriums which are known as Dorfman, Olivier, and Lyttleton. The range of performance which took place ranges from Shakespearean chronicles to that of the contemporary and also numerous international and classic dramas. The Royal National Theatre as it is also known happens to be the most funded theaters by the theater lovers and it is known as the National Theatre of Great Britain. It was initiated in the year 1963 and till 1976 was located in the Old Vic Theater. Finally, it is located on the side of Thames, the South Bank of London. Each of the theater can stage 3 shows.
2. Festival Theatre Edinburgh, Edinburgh
The Festival Theatre Edinburgh is located at the heart of the Edinburgh’s Old Town. It happens to be built in the year 1830. Primarily it is used for the classic performances of the opera and ballet. It also dominates the annual Edinburgh International Festival. It is supposedly known for having a strange and haunting story since the famous illusionist Sigmund Neuberger was burnt to death in the fire which broke out in 1911.
1. Royal Opera House
The Royal Opera House is a mighty venue for the major performances. It is the seat of all kinds of performances like the Royal Ballet, Royal Opera, and the Orchestra performance. It is known as the Covent Garden, in the central London. It was situated in the year 1732 and since then stands out as the Numero Uno. The first ballet performance was held in the year 1734. It is prestigious to have a premiere held at The Royal Opera House.
Hence from the tour of the largest theaters, we can understand how the culturally rich London have witnessed the making of the major centers of drama, theater, ballets, and operas. This also reflects that the biggest and the largest theaters were built during the time when London was at the zenith of cultural excellence.