We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Gorgeous old theatres with atmosphere

Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
304 posts
118 reviews
Save Topic
Gorgeous old theatres with atmosphere

Hello London gurus!

I would love to squeeze in a trip to the theater during my weekend visit to London in July.

I'm particularly interested in historic old theaters, rather than the bright, shiny new ones. Something over a hundred years old (seems very old to my Australian mind!), and preferably with red velvet curtain, little balconies, and steeped in history, would be perfect.

Other than the replica of the old Globe theater, can anyone help me work out which theaters in London are the old and gorgeous ones? Or any with historical significance I may not be aware of?

Thanks kindly. I'll possibly try and get tickets through TKTS, but I'll be shopping on venue, rather than show.

Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
3,125 posts
13 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Gorgeous old theatres with atmosphere

What about the play or show? Got any preferences?

Most if not all the theatres in the theatre district fall into your description.

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for London
Level Contributor
55,911 posts
15 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Gorgeous old theatres with atmosphere

If you would like to visit a place with masses of atmos although not a theatre per se, consider taking a tour of Wilton's Music Hall. It's very appealing in its way and of great historical significance. www.wiltons.org.uk for more information.

Ottawa, ON
Level Contributor
2,472 posts
63 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Gorgeous old theatres with atmosphere

Theatre Royal Drury Lane will be 200 years old in 2012. I believe Shrek the Musical has or will soon be opening there.

Adelaide, Australia
Level Contributor
31,069 posts
16 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Gorgeous old theatres with atmosphere

Garrick, Wyndams, Palladium, HMT, Haymarket, Shaftesbury, Palace. Criterion and a few others.

www.timeout.com/london

London, United...
Level Contributor
9,596 posts
23 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Gorgeous old theatres with atmosphere

As others have said, what you describe is the rule rather than the exception. S you shouldn't need to sit through something you don't want to see. The use of the curtain depends on the actual production, so can't be guaranteed.

Off the top of my head, The New London and the National Theatre complex on the South bank won't meet your requirements.

London, United...
Level Contributor
1,232 posts
21 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Gorgeous old theatres with atmosphere

The Hackney Empire (opened 1901) fits your bill 100%, has been recently used for several films, as a back drop of old music halls etc.

www.hackneyempire.co.uk

County Dublin...
Level Contributor
27,040 posts
Save Reply
7. Re: Gorgeous old theatres with atmosphere

The Phoenix on Charing Cross Rd. is a beautiful theater.

The current offering, Blood Brothers has been running for some years and stands on it's merits.

"Tell Me It's Not True"

Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
2,788 posts
19 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Gorgeous old theatres with atmosphere

As above, most of them are like that

Really really old and authentic ones (there are a handful of unaltered or restored Georgian/Regency playhouses around the country) are probably a bit more austere than what you are describing, except for the vibrantly painted ceilings and everything - there's a lot more exposed wood (including wooden seats) than I think what you're looking for

There's a fantastic one in my local town (a fair way from London, unfortunately) that's survived intact and recently been restored. I love it:

…theatreroyal.org/PEO/site/plan/index.php…

Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
304 posts
118 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Gorgeous old theatres with atmosphere

Wow - thanks everyone. Some great suggestions !

I'm going to google them all and take a list with me.

Cheers

Kent, England
Level Contributor
2,980 posts
21 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Gorgeous old theatres with atmosphere

The Old Vic is one of London's greatest old theatres. Usually does drama, rather than musicals.

see www.oldvictheatre.com; it began in 1818, and has seen most of the great actors and actressese in its long and distinguished history.

Its a few minutes walk from Waterloo underground and train station. Presently run by US actor Kevin Spacey.