London Pass BlogBack to Blog
Enjoy the VIP experience with a National Theatre tour
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…
Monday 16th of September 2013 Fancy a sleepover at Hampton Court Palace? If you have ever relished the thought of staying at one...
Monday 9th of September 2013 There is nothing quite like cruising along the river on a bright autumn morning, taking in the sunshine...
Monday 26th of August 2013 One of the best reasons to take a trip to London is you get the opportunities to acquaint yourself...
Monday 19th of August 2013 Once a year, the streets of London come to life with exotic dancing, celebration and the sweet-smelling...
Monday 12th of August 2013 Very few buildings in London have quite managed to capture the imaginations...
Monday 5th of August 2013 Camden Fringe is a lively medley of theatre, song and spoken word which is set to entertain visitors...
Monday 29th of July 2013 If you are looking for things to do in London then why not join thousands of Brits, who are celebrating...
Wednesday 24th of July 2013 If you are busy trying to entertain the kids this summer and are on the lookout for things to do in...
Monday 22nd of July 2013 One of the best things about summer is that theatres across the country - such as Shakespeare's...
Thursday 18th of July 2013 It's not every day you get to visit the dwelling places of kings and queens, particularly when...
Wednesday 17th of July 2013 If you are visiting London this summer and are on the lookout for great places to eat after a day...