National Theatre London is one of the two most prominent theatre companies in the United Kingdom along with the Royal Shakespeare Company. Its official name is The Royal National Theatre, but is most commonly referred to as the National Theatre or sometimes just the National. It was founded in 1963 and moved from its original location in Waterloo to its present location in the South Bank in 1976. National Theatre tickets are hot commodities in London as it features a variety of shows from international classics to contemporary performances by notable modern playwrights.
The National Theatre has three stages in all. The Olivier Theatre (named for the first artistic director, Laurence Olivier) is the largest and serves as the central auditorium. Its design is based on the ancient Greek theatre at Epidaurus. It seats nearly 1,200 people and has been the site of some of the most classic performances in London in the last several decades, including some by those of the legend Laurence Olivier himself. The Lyttelton Theatre is the second largest and seats around 900, while the Cottesloe Theatre is a smaller studio space that accommodates around 400. There are up to three shows at the National Theatre London running on each stage at a time, allowing the venue to offer a broader range of selections.
And the world-class performances held at the National Theatre are not the only draws of this popular destination in London. The architecture itself is unique among other London buildings and has drawn praise and criticism from all sides. It is described as “an urban landscape of interlocking terraces” and features a wide range of interesting and visually dramatic architectural conventions that are decidedly distinctive set against nearby attractions such as St. Paul’s Cathedral and the Somerset House. It is nonetheless one of the most inspired works of architectural design on the South Bank of the Thames in some time and remains an exceedingly popular attraction for both residents and tourists of London. National Theatre tickets can sell for as cheaply as 10 Pounds for certain performances so it is even possible to attend a show at the alluring National Theatre London without having to break the bank. Another attraction here is the statue of Laurence Olivier as Hamlet. The statue was unveiled in 2007.
You can also take part in a whole range of other activities besides just seeing shows at the National Theatre London. You have the option of attending interesting talks, taking backstage tours, having a meal or a drink at one of the onsite restaurants or bars, or simply shop and browse the bookshop and foyer. One big draw at the theatre is the daily free musical performance at 5:45 p.m. It is open every day from 9:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. and National Theatre tickets can be purchased online, over the phone, or at the box office. If you are planning a trip to the city and intend to see one of the shows at the National Theatre London, you should consider making a day or night of it by taking advantage of the wonderful restaurants and other features including exhibitions and displays.