There are few more fitting locations to watch one of Shakespeare’s plays than Stratford-upon-Avon, the birthplace of the iconic playwright, and the most prestigious venue in town is the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. Built in 1932, the historic theater is the official home of the Royal Shakespeare Company, whose performances of Shakespeare’s works are renowned around the world.
Built to replace the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre, which stood on the site since 1879, the Royal Shakespeare Theatre was the design of Elisabeth Scott (one of Britain’s first notable female architects) and underwent extensive renovations in 2010. Today, the theater hosts regular performances by the Royal Shakespeare Company in its 1,000-seat auditorium, but it’s also a popular destination for tourists.
A range of tours allow visitors to explore the Front of House, peek behind-the-scenes, visit the grounds and gardens, or even get a backstage look at the nearby rehearsal rooms and costume store. Alternatively, the theater’s 32-meter-high Tower offers far-reaching views over Stratford-upon-Avon, while the Rooftop Restaurant and Riverside café serve up everything from afternoon tea to cocktails, and a range of free temporary exhibitions are hosted on-site.
The Royal Shakespeare Theatre is located along the waterfront of the River Avon in central Stratford-upon-Avon and is open daily from 10am – late. Access to the public areas and restaurants of the theater is free, but admission to the tower costs £2.50 and guided tours start from £6.50.