One of the many wonderful things about studying drama in England is the wide array of main stream to experimental theater available every day. Like most students, I had to find ways of fulfilling my passion for theater and still stay on budget. I’m happy to say it’s easier than I initially thought.
Before leaving for the UK I began researching online to find out what was happening around London and in local theaters, in other British cities, as well as on my own campus. My list grew quickly to include productions at theaters including Donmar Warehouse, Almeida, Arcola, Old Vic, Young Vic and the National. If you’re interested in having a browse at some general theater information, take a look at…
Once I put together a list of my personal “must see” productions with at the top of the list, “The Tempest” at Donmar, I went in search of affordable tickets. I found a few sites that offered tickets at very reasonable prices…
Remember that many UK theater companies offer discounts and deals (some FREE) for students under 25. I found Young+Free discounts for theatre productions at the Donmar.
University/ Local Theater
And like many universities and colleges I also found that theater on-campus was a great source for professional entertainment well within most any budget. Speak to lecturers and staff on campus to find out more. If you’re looking for theaters in your area, check out The List - a great source!
Asking the experts
I’ve also made use of faculty and guest lecturers for recommendations of shows and theater companies. I’ve been directed to some unique spaces and happily entertained by delightfully unexpected theater gems, including a pop-up theater in London by production company, Found 111 . My favorite production thus far came from asking a visiting lecturer who is a West End producer, he recommended a visit to the Southwark Playhouse in London. I watched a new play, “Orca” by Matt Grinter; it was captivating, thought-provoking, entertaining and a perfect example of how an intimate theater can be transformed simply and beautifully into a tiny Irish seaside village.
During the festive season we are treated to a theater event quintessentially British, the Panto. I have been hearing for months from friends that the Panto is a must-see. Since there is one being produced in just about every theatre in the country during the winter months. you’ll be sure to find one near you.
I attended the “Dick Whittington” at the Marlowe Theatre, in Canterbury. The show was pure joy and merriment on stage, and reflected what pantos are known for. Pantos a farcical take on traditional fairy tales with humorous references to current events thrown in for good measure, a star-studded cast (in the larger venues) and all wrapped up in fabulously big, bright, bold costumes, sets and performances.
Theater has long been an integral part of my life and my expectations were very high for British theatre. With each performance I watch in the UK, I grow in my knowledge of acting, directing, playwriting and technical design. For a drama student, England is a dream location with so much great theater to experience every day and so many affordable ways to see it!
If you would like to find out more about studying theatre, or any other subject in the UK, please contact one of the Across The Pond Advisors.