This year, London celebrates the 400th anniversary of the greatest playwright in the English language: William Shakespeare. With such enormous theatrical variety on offer, a trip to London wouldn’t be complete without popping into a play. There’s no need to stick to the West End, as the city has everything from Shakespearean classics to avant-garde performances to offer. We’ve chosen a few of our favourite theatres, and a few of this summer’s highlights.
The Globe Theatre
What to see: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, 24 May – 12 Oct
Shakespeare’s anniversary wouldn’t be complete without a trip to The Globe, an immaculate reconstruction of the Bard’s theatre. Sit in the gallery or mingle with the groundlings for one of his most famous comedies, A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
What to see: Richard III, 7 Jun – 6 Aug
The Almeida is one of the UK’s foremost theatres to spot up-and-coming talent, and is well known for the sharp social commentary of its plays. Don’t miss Ralph Fiennes playing Shakespeare’s most sinister villain in Richard III this summer.
The Old Vic
What to see: Groundhog Day, 11 Jul – 17 Sep
Just south of the river is the Old Vic, where Kevin Spacey spent 12 years as artistic director. This summer, you’ll be able to catch the musical adaptation of Groundhog Day, written by comedian Tim Minchin, who also adapted Roald Dahl’s Matilda for the stage.
Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre
What to see: Running Wild, 13 May – 12 Jun
What better way to spend a summer’s evening than at an open air performance? Head down to Regent’s Park this season for a series of stunning plays amidst the trees. This May, the park will play host to Running Wild – the story of an Indonesian elephant’s journey through the jungle by Michael Morpurgo, the author of War Horse.