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BLOG : Please Let Us Backstage! London's Backstage Theatre Tours

Wednesday 25 February 2015

By Nicky Sweetland

Want to see what goes on behind the scenes of your favourite West End Shows? Me too!

I've just recently got back from a fascinating back stage tour of The National Theatre and wish a few more of our West End theatre's would offer this opportunity. Theatres currently offering this are few and far between, and it's a shame more don't allow enthusiasts like us the chance  to see how things work. I've listed below a few that are definitely worth a visit.

The National Theatre, The Southbank
This is a huge place with a vast back stage area where sets are built, painted and stored. The building itself employs around a thousand people and it was brilliant to see all of the dressing rooms and tech areas. With huge performing spaces and the ability to host multiple shows at once, this is a fascinating place.

The Theatre Royal, Drury Lane
Currently the home of Charlie and the chocolate factory, this is one of the biggest theatres in the West end with a capacity of 2196 and truly vast backstage area.
I went on a back stage tour of The Theatre Royal Drury Lane many years ago when the original production of Miss Saigon was playing there. Standing on the stage and looking out at the vast auditorium was a real treat. The huge backstage area which housed the helicopter and car was awesome and I plan to repeat the experience so I can take in the current occupants

Shakespeare's Globe
This London landmark is a reconstruction of The Globe where Shakespeare was first able to put on some of his most famous plays. The backstage tour incorporates the exhibits in the museum and a great look around the outside stage area. You can book your Shakespeare's Globe exhibition tickets now with London Theatre Direct!

The London Palladium
Currently the home of the revival of Cats, who wouldn't want to take a look at where the moggies prowl. This wonderfully historical theatre has recently undergone some refurbishments and is a must for all fanatics. 

The Phoenix Theatre
Although not a backstage tour, if you visit the Pheonix Theatre to see Once you are invited to go to the onstage bar for a drink both before curtain up and during the interval. I used this opportunity to stand in the centre of the stage and look out on the audience (who wouldn't?). 

The Royal Court 
The Royal Court has recently enjoyed some great West End transfers, most noticeably the dark but compelling The a Nether. You'll visit rehearsal rooms and learn about the history of the company.

The Royal Opera house 
The large and grand The Royal Opera house offers tours of there Covent Garden theatre. This tour includes a look at their ingenious stage system which allows them to perform two different shows within a short space of time. 

I would love a tour of The Apollo Victoria Theatre to see how Wicked works, or the Prince Edward Theatre to have a look at the new production of Miss Saigon. How about The Queens Theatre to see the barricade or Her Majesty's Theatre to see how the famous boat floats across the stage?

  My fellow theatre fanatics and I, would love to see more backstage tours please!

@NickySweetland

tags: Tours, History, Shakespeare, Best Of British, Educational


By Nicky Sweetland

Nicky is fanatical about musical theatre and loves to watch as much of it as she can.

Please note: Opinions expressed on the londontheatredirect.com blog are those of the relevant contributors, not of London Theatre Direct Ltd, its owners or staff. London Theatre Direct Ltd is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by contributors.

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