Our second theatrical round up of the great theaters of Great Britain looks at the Welsh capital, revisits London, and travels up north to Glasgow to visit the iconic Citizen’s Theater. Theater is an institution for the people of Great Britain, and the experience of people gathering together to enjoy live performances has captured the imagination for centuries. Unlike other countries around the world where a trip to the theater is rather an elitist thing to do, theatrical performances have always been enjoyed by the common man in Britain. During the war years the theater was a way of keeping the population both informed and amused and many of the theaters in this blog were key players in this policy.
One of the biggest attractions in Wales is the Millennium Center in Cardiff. It hosts a wide variety of performances from opera and ballet to more contemporary themed productions. The venue is massive and has the capacity for just under two thousand people. As well as being a top theater there is a smaller studio, a dance house and an orchestral hall. An estimated fourteen million people have passed through its doors since the theater opened and it is generally considered to be one of the finest theaters built in Britain during the last couple of decades.
This classic old London theater dates back to 1818 and some of its foundations are still from that period. Situated just outside Waterloo station, it remains one of the most popular theaters in Britain today. Originally it was known as the Royal Coburg although the theater has changed its name many times over the years. During WWII it was seriously damaged by the German Luftwaffe in many of the air raids that attacked the capital. In 1976 the Old Vic had a new lease of life and the great Shakespearean actor, Sir Laurence Olivier, took an undertaking to ensure this famous old theater is part of the core of the National Theaters of Great Britain.
The Citizen’s Theater is our second Scottish theater to feature in this blog and has been used as a performing arts theater since 1878. Since 1945, it established itself as a theatrical venue and is one of the very oldest operational theaters that exists in the UK today.
The theater has retained a great deal of its Victorian splendor and today it hosts up to five hundred people. Its repertoire is a mixture of classic drama and contemporary plays, and is proud to feature Scottish writers. It remains a firm favorite in Scotland as is one of Glasgow’s most iconic venues. The people of Glasgow have always loved live entertainment, so there is fond affection for their most prized theater.
Leaving Glasgow firmly behind us at end the second part of our inspection of Britain’s best theaters, we look forward to part three of this theatrical journey as we travel to the home of Shakespeare while we also visit historical Bath and conclude our journey, once again, in London at the world-famous Globe.