Published: Monday 7th of January 2013
A trip to the National Theatre on London's South Bank is certainly a memorable experience, especially if one manages to book a backstage tour.
Using a London Pass visitors can get access to the UK's foremost venues for contemporary and classic theatre, which has been graced by some of the world's most famous actors and actresses.
A backstage tour is free to pass holders and allows people to see what really goes on behind the scenes, giving an insight into this glamorous and often secretive theatrical spot.
The National Theatre Tours, which are situated close to Royal Festival Hall and the Hayward Gallery run several times a day, lasting 75 minutes, but advanced booking is highly recommend as times can vary according to rehearsals and performances.
They are also incredibly busy, as people can imagine, giving viewers an incredible view off the tourist sightseeing trail.
Each group is led by a well-informed and enthusiastic guide, who can reveal the secrets and stories of the three auditoriums, which features around 18 shows every year.
Tourists can also experience a backstage visit to see the theatre at work, as well as a sneak peak at on-site scenic workshops.
What's on this month?
Hymn and Cocktail Sticks: Sunday double bills
Hymn (January 13th)
Hymn is a memoir of music in childhood written by Alan Bennett, with music by George Fenton.
According to Bennett: "In 2001 the Medici Quartet commissioned the composer George Fenton to write a piece commemorating their thirtieth anniversary. George Fenton appeared in my play Forty Years On and has written music for many of my plays since, and he asked me to collaborate on the commission. Hymn was the result."
It features a series of memoirs with music, with speeches, instrumental passages, as well as hymns and music from Bennett's childhood and youth.
The music is performed by members of the world-famous Southbank Sinfonia.
Hymn is coupled with Cocktail Sticks, which is an oratorio largely performed without music.
It cleverly revisits conversations and themes covered in Bennett's memoir, with music performed by clarinettist Rachel Elliot and cellist Chris Fish.
Alex Jennings plays Alan Bennett in both pieces and bears a remarkable likeness to the author, actor, academic and screenwriter.
Port (January 22nd to 31st)
Playwright Simon Stephens and director Marianne Elliott have returned to theatre following the success of their recent collaboration on The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time to bring Port to the stage this month.
Set in Stockport in 1988 it follows the story of 11-year-old Rachel and six-year-old Billy who are waiting in a car excitedly.
Meanwhile, their mother is gradually getting agitated with the children's chatter and fighting and dreams of heading to Disneyland and leaving them for good.
The father, on the other hand is drunk in the flat above and has locked the door.
This pivotal moment sees the children abandoned, for the most part, and having to face a 13-year struggle of living alone without parents and growing up in the deprived suburban shadows of Manchester.
Stephens' Port is certainly a celebration of the human spirit, set against a colourful portrait of a town in flux.
Save on sightseeing in London with free entry to over 55 top London tourist attractions.
Posted by Kevin Smith
Follow The London Pass blog to learn about the latest news with attractions, sights and sightseeing events in the city. As well as useful tips, hints and advice for visitors to the city and how to make the most of your sightseeing time in London. We hope you enjoy…
Embrace creativity at the Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art
Tuesday 15th of January 2013
While on a visit to London it's not hard to spot beautiful Victorian and Georgian buildings lining...
Enjoy a vibrant season at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre
Monday 14th of January 2013
Visitors to London will not want to pass up on the opportunity to find out more about England's most famous playwright.
Learn about Charles I's execution at the Banqueting House for things to do in London
Saturday 12th of January 2013
The Banqueting House is opening a new display telling the story of the events leading up to the execution of King Charles I.
Visit the thrilling London Bridge Experience for things to do in London
Friday 11th of January 2013
People visiting London could opt for a day of terror at the London Bridge Experience.
Things to do in London: Visit the living time capsule of Eton College
Thursday 10th of January 2013
People looking for things to do in London could opt for a trip to Eton College.
London attractions: Learn about The Lady with the Lamp at the Florence Nightingale Museum
Wednesday 9th of January 2013
People looking for an educational experience in London could opt for a trip to the Florence Nightingale Museum.
London attractions: Brighten up winter with Kew Gardens' orchid display
Tuesday 8th of January 2013
Kew Gardens is hosting a stunning orchid display between Saturday February 9th and Sunday March 3rd.
Enjoy the VIP experience with a National Theatre tour
Monday 7th of January 2013
A trip to the National Theatre on London's South Bank is certainly a memorable experience, especially...
Learn about newts, mudskipper and tree frogs at London Zoo for things to do in London
Monday 7th of January 2013
The new amphibian wing at London Zoo focuses on the evolution of the fascinating animals.
Kensington Palace is one of the best fairytale London attractions
Friday 4th of January 2013
Step back in time with Eerie Evening Tours at Kensington Palace.
London attractions: Enjoy a fun filled day at Queens Ice and Bowl
Monday 31st of December 2012
Queens Ice and Bowl is the perfect location to spend a fun day with your family.