The evolution of theatre can be well documented, from the earliest Roman amphitheatres, who had themselves been inspired by the theatres they’d seen in ancient Greece, to the modern-day grandiose of theatres such as the Apollo in London. However, the fundamental elements that make theatre so utterly captivating have not altered one little bit. This is because essentially, the experience of being human hasn’t altered since the bygone days of ancient Greece.
Admittedly, our technology has advanced, our medical care has vastly improved and so forth, however the integral parts of what makes human beings, well human, endures to this day. It is exactly this, the human experience, that theatre so effectively explores. With its twisted stories of love and contempt, passion and anguish, with extravagant sets and lustrous costumes, these stories that are the very fabric of human existence are delivered to us, on the stage to maximum dramatic effect.
Whether you have long been seduced by the allure of theatre, or whether you’re yet to experience the intoxifying thrill of the theatrical experience, London is without a shadow of a doubt, the place to be. So rich is London in its history, its very nature allows the imagination to effortlessly conjure up images of the historical and fictional characters seen ‘treading the boards’. With its dark, cobble-stone backstreets and dilapidated buildings, the most stunning of modern architecture, and buildings of great beauty and historical importance, London is a city in which theatre courses through its very veins.
London has played host to many of the most successful theatre shows that the world has seen – from musicals of the most elaborate nature, mesmerising productions of Shakespearean plays, all the way through to some of the most emotive and thought-provoking examples of contempory theatre.
Theatres all across London have nurtured some of the finest acting talent ever produced by Britain. This includes such prominent names as Sir Ian Mckellen, Michael Gambon and Pete Postlethwaite, rising stars like Tom Hardy, and equally attracting the cream of talent from our American cousins, such as the incomparable Kevin Spacey.
It is the city in which to truly experience theatre, literally catering for all variations in taste, age and expectation. That is why the art-form has endured; it provides us with links to our kingdom’s historical past, whilst still maintaining relevance in the present.
When visiting London on a theatre trip, it’s important to try and experience as much of the city as is possible. Locations such as Hampton Court, and the backstreets of the East-end, whose very buildings still scream of its squalid Jack the Ripper dominated past, gives you a real sense of London’s diverse and rich history. This can really add to the theatre-going experience – walking the pathways of historical characters, and visiting locations that were the scene of some of the most epic events in history.