Nothing quite beats the feeling of sitting down in a vast multi-tiered theatre and waiting for the lights to go down and the curtains to rise. Traditional theatre experiences never become tiresome for avid arts fans, after all, if engaging acting and a great stage sound and lighting system are in place then a good production is pretty much guaranteed as far as we’re concerned. But as much as a trip to the typical grand and enclosed theatre with stalls and upper circles appeals, sometimes a performance in a completely unique setting is all that’s needed to reignite a flailing passion.

We’re used to being creative and adaptable with our stage design, so naturally, theatres offering something really special are always haunts of ours. The fantastic thing about both traditional theatre and new movements is that performance is being increasingly brought to everyone. Even those who wouldn’t usually choose to spend an evening at the theatre can now engage with the arts in some way or another. So with a plethora of fantastic theatre experiences available all around the country, we just couldn’t resist introducing you to some of the most enchanting and unique venues.

Open Air Theatres

In the UK, despite our questionable weather, we have a great selection of quirky and prominent theatres alike that get up close and personal to the great outdoors! Call them open air, call them roofless, either way a show under the stars is a fantastic way to while away a balmy summer evening. Regents Park Open Air Theatre is one such example of a theatre that’s as open air as can be with trees flanking the stage and artfully placed flood lamps illuminating the performers. The theatre recommends visitors bring hats, sunscreen or waterproofs (delete as appropriate!) so you truly are open to the elements! While a pour down could certainly dampen your spirits, Regent Park offers an unrivalled sensory experience with fantastic sound systems and sophisticated lighting designed to enrich the audience experience.

If you’re looking for a performance from Shakespeare’s heyday, The Globe Theatre London is roofless, standing and generally as historical as you can get in the theatre world! While the thought of standing up for hours on end put some visitors off, it is the authentic experience, and luckily the balconies at The Globe are covered if the skies should open!

Dinner and a Show

As if a beautiful meal and a great performance aren’t enough to keep us entertained alone, the move towards ‘dinner theatre’ has thrilled foodies and theatre buffs no end. If you haven’t yet been to a theatrical banquet, don’t hesitate, they are fantastic, hilarious and often wholly authentic! A great example of a dinner with a show is the Medieval banquets that truly require the diners to get in the peasant mind frame! While these experiences are springing up all over the country, the most indulgent are usually held in historical buildings where guests are seated in a chamber and treated to a performance while they sip mead, sample rich meats and generally try not to pick up the plague…

Terrifying Tours

Have any of you been on the Warwick Castle dungeon tour? It’s thrilling and bone chilling in equal measure and aside from eerie lighting, the realistic smell of ammonia (use your imagination…) and the gruesome props, the actors performing in each room really made the tour! Whether we were crowded in the surgeon’s examining room or sat around a centre stage in a haunted cell, the performers turned a well executed tour into a great piece of theatre. If performance tours have taught us anything, it’s that fantastic shows can be forged outside of a traditional stage environment with the help of intelligent design and some carefully used effects.

Creating a theatre with a difference is a great way to utilise space if you don’t have room for a designated stage area. An outdoor stage can really help you create unique performances, and venues looking to branch into theatre can install a well designed stage in even the smallest of areas and most intricate of buildings. If you’d like some inspiration for a performance area with a difference, get in touch with PG Stage, we’re brimming with ideas for stage design, no matter how specific your requirements.

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