Page: 1

Advice needed: National Theatre

gcontini2 Profile Photogcontini2 Profile Photo
gcontini2
Featured Actor
joined:11/17/09
Featured Actor
joined:
11/17/09
Advice needed: National Theatre#1
Posted: 4/13/10 at 10:14am
Hello - I'm a New Yorker visiting London from Thursday, April 22-Mon, April 26 to run in the London Marathon (Sunday the 25th)... I have tickets for Thursday, Friday and Sat evenings for Royal Ballet's Cinderella, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, and Love Never Dies, respectively.

However, I'd really like to see/experience the National Theatre in some way as I've always heard so much about it and how it is unlike anything we have in the states (although, I'm not clear on that part and would love to learn more).

Anyway, I'm wondering if someone might suggest a meaningful way to visit/understand the National.... Short of seeing another play on my tight tourist's schedule (I would have seen War Horse, for example, except it's no longer actually playing at the National, plus it's coming to Broadway next fall), are there other events/plays I should not miss..? Is there a tour, for example?

I appreciate any ideas. Thanks!

Updated On: 4/13/10 at 10:14 AM
abitoftap Profile Photoabitoftap Profile Photo
abitoftap
Broadway Star
joined:3/16/08
Broadway Star
joined:
3/16/08
Advice needed: National Theatre#2
Posted: 4/13/10 at 11:02am
sorry..double post

Updated On: 4/13/10 at 11:02 AM
abitoftap Profile Photoabitoftap Profile Photo
abitoftap
Broadway Star
joined:3/16/08
Broadway Star
joined:
3/16/08
Advice needed: National Theatre#2
Posted: 4/13/10 at 11:02am
There is (at least was a few years ago) a tour. You got taken backstage and around all the miles of corridors between the Lyttleton and Olivier. Interesting. The guide was a youngish actor who seemed a little bitter about the MU agreement (always live?)
I love the building..really comfortable and pleasant to spend time in (compare and contrast 99% of west end theatres, but not the renovated ROH and Coliseum)..and great river views
Whatever's on is always of at least a high technical standard, even if it's not always a winner
Phantom of London Profile PhotoPhantom of London Profile Photo
Phantom of London
Broadway Legend
joined:3/26/08
Broadway Legend
joined:
3/26/08
Advice needed: National Theatre#3
Posted: 4/13/10 at 11:12am
I think we have met somewhere very recently?

Great shows you have lined up, unfortunately a show what a lot of people on here raved about is Jerusalem but it has just closed, no doubt this will be in New York very soon, I understand you sentiments with War Horse, thatís why I am not going to plug Enron as it is in New York already. Nation is playing The National Theatre, regulars on here have said it is a bit dull, anyway we have people on here who are far more knowledgeable about The Play, than me and sure they will help you out.

As always love to hear feedback on shows when you are back home.

Interesting you are going to see The Ballet, I done my degree in this, but really don't like to talk about it.
Updated On: 4/13/10 at 11:12 AM
Mark_E Profile PhotoMark_E Profile Photo
Mark_E
Broadway Legend
joined:1/26/06
Broadway Legend
joined:
1/26/06
Advice needed: National Theatre#4
Posted: 4/13/10 at 11:34am
^Nation has closed!

The backstage tour looks very good at the National, rather cheap too!
MichaelUK92 Profile PhotoMichaelUK92 Profile Photo
MichaelUK92
Featured Actor
joined:4/19/09
Featured Actor
joined:
4/19/09
Advice needed: National Theatre#5
Posted: 4/13/10 at 11:59am
The backstage tours are great! Get to go on stage at the Lyttelton Theatre and it was a proper "backstage" tour - very informative and fun. Would def recommend.
Weez Profile PhotoWeez Profile Photo
Weez
Broadway Legend
joined:9/16/05
Broadway Legend
joined:
9/16/05
Advice needed: National Theatre#6
Posted: 4/13/10 at 5:55pm
Nation has closed, but Jerusalem is still going until the 24th. Which doesn't help the OP unless they particularly want a 3+ hour matinee on the Saturday and don't mind getting up obscenely early in the morning to queue for a dayseat. Advice needed: National Theatre

I personally think the National is having a good patch; The White Guard, The Habit of Art and Spring Storm are excellent, I've heard nothing but good things about London Assurance and Beyond the Horizon, and with Marianne Elliott at the helm, the divine Neil Austin and Ian Dickinson on lighting and sound, and Harriet Walter onstage, Women Beware Women is shaping up to be freakin' awesome. So if you did decide to go see anything at the National, odds are good it'd be a nifty production.

Anyhoo! The tour is excellent and you should definitely go on it. It's cheap and informative. But even if you can't, it's worth just visiting the building anyway. There's always an art display or two on the upper levels, the bookshop is to the straight play what Dress Circle is to musicals (read: the best damn shop in town), and there's often some kind of musical entertainment in the foyer, especially in the evenings. I spend a lot of time in that building, even if I'm not seeing a play. :3
Updated On: 4/13/10 at 05:55 PM
hotjohn Profile Photohotjohn Profile Photo
hotjohn
Broadway Legend
joined:3/14/08
Broadway Legend
joined:
3/14/08
Advice needed: National Theatre#7
Posted: 4/13/10 at 6:14pm
'The Habit Of Art', at the National, is well worth seeing and there are, currently, some seats available for the Saturday matinee. I would recommend getting there early, having a bite to eat, sit in the lobby (there is usually some form of free entertainment) and don't forget to buy a programme - the National Theatre has the most informative programmes of any theatre group.
Phantom of London Profile PhotoPhantom of London Profile Photo
Phantom of London
Broadway Legend
joined:3/26/08
Broadway Legend
joined:
3/26/08
Advice needed: National Theatre#8
Posted: 4/14/10 at 2:09pm
Thanks for the advice for my buddy from the Broadway Board, there you go, some great advice from people who love plays.

If gcontini elects to see 'The Habit of Art' the London Wheel is very close as well as The London Aquarium and The Tate Modern, could be a great day out on The South Bank.
gcontini2 Profile Photogcontini2 Profile Photo
gcontini2
Featured Actor
joined:11/17/09
Featured Actor
joined:
11/17/09
Advice needed: National Theatre#9
Posted: 4/14/10 at 11:33pm
Thank you, everyone, for your very kind responses and good advice on visiting the National Theatre. I will definitely try to do the backstage tour and maybe I'll get a chance to see a matinee.

** Also, thanks for the special hello, Phantom, and please check your in-box for a message I sent you :)