If ever you wanted to add something cultural to your list of things to do, watching a Shakespeare play would be an apt choice. And where better to see such a play than in the hometown of Britain’s greatest ever bard: Stratford-upon-Avon?
Whether you’re a confirmed Shakespeare fan, or just dipping a toe in the water, you’ll enjoy the theatre experience that Stratford-upon-Avon has to offer. In fact, the medieval town in England’s West Midlands provides a choice of venues where you can catch a Shakespeare play.
Royal Shakespeare Theatre
The grandest of the theatres that regularly put on Shakespeare plays is, naturally, the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. Located alongside the River Avon, its multi-tiered seating accommodates 1018 people.
It includes a thrust stage, meaning it extends out into the audience for a closer, more intimate performance. The theatre was transformed from the 1932 Shakespeare Memorial Theatre, and is a grade two listed building, with many original Art Deco features.
Other, non-Shakespearian plays are performed at the adjoining Swan Theatre, which seats 426 people along three sides of a deep thrust stage.
Aside from seeing a play at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, you can dine in the Rooftop Restaurant, take a guided theatre tour, or look out over Stratford-upon-Avon from its tower (booking required).
For a more casual, open-air Shakespeare play, that is free of charge, perhaps you’ll catch a performance at The Dell.
Located in Avonbank Gardens, this Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) outdoor stage hosts Shakespeare productions by amateur and professional theatre companies, schools, universities and community groups. Schedules for all RSC theatres are available from their website.
Keep an Open Mind
If you’re unfamiliar with Shakespeare and fear you won’t understand what’s going on, keep an open mind, and prepare to enjoy your theatre experience.
Though they are 400 years old, the themes of Shakespeare’s plays resonate as much today as they ever did. They reflect humanity, which at its heart, is unchanged by passing centuries.