Wednesday 27th March marks the annual celebration of World Theatre Day.
The event has taken place across the globe since 1962 and is a celebration of the importance of all different types of theatre as a form of self-expression, activism and communication.
But the art of ‘Theatre’ has been around much longer and is one of the most fascinating aspects of the culture of ancient Greece, where spoken word, poetry, music and religious festival, all form part of the art of theatrical production, indeed even the word ‘Theatre’ originates from the ancient Greek.
Then, if we fast forward up to the dawn of the early modern period, there are the productions of Shakespeare who wrote at least 37 plays, including many comedies, tragedies, historical and romantic plays, performed in front of Lords and Ladies, and even royalty of the late 16th and early 17th Century at The Globe theatre in London.
So, what about theatre in the modern age? Discovering Days want to celebrate world theatre day by having a look at some of the influential and important aspects of theatre in the 21st Century.
Want to find out more? Read on!
Where is the best place to go the theatre?
There’s no doubt about it, having tickets to a show in London is an exciting prospect, there are over 240 theatres in the Capital, many of which are situated in the West End, including the huge Apollo Victoria theatre, the Opera House in Covent Garden, and the London Coliseum, home of the English National Opera.
There’s a couple of flies in the ointment however, firstly we can’t all go to London every weekend it’s simply not practical, and secondly the average cost of tickets to watch a show in nations capital has risen to over £100, which means it is cost prohibitive to many!
Do not despair though, if you love the theatre there are literally hundreds of theatres and play houses around the country that need your support, and put on some wonderful productions, showcasing the new and up and coming talented actors from around the U.K.
From Manchester to Glasgow, and Bath to Sheffield, there are plenty of professional productions to choose from, and in your own local town, there’s usually at least one or two wonderful theatres with struggling amateur dramatic groups putting on a great performance to entertain you.
How Do I Choose a Show at the Theatre?
Well that is personal choice of course and the thing is there is so much to choose from, it’s sometimes difficult to find a show that really appeals.
Do you enjoy musicals? There are a wide variety of musical theatre productions from classics such as Guys and Dolls, My Fair Lady and West Side Story, to more contemporary productions such as Book of Mormon or Billy Elliot.
The Top 100 Musicals of all time are listed here, but there seems to be some notable absentees in the list, to celebrate World Theatre Day, why not complete your own list?
If you don’t fancy a musical production, there’s loads of alternative theatre you could enjoy. There are loads of thought provoking productions, and the beauty of a really good production, is that it gets you thinking about situations that might be a taboo subject anywhere else but on the stage!
The best way to keep ahead of what is coming up is to sign up to your local theatre’s newsletter, follow them on social media and look out for the reviews in your news-feed.
When can I Take children to the Theatre?
You can start taking children to the theatre at any age! In fact, the younger the better, if you want to get them interested and appreciative of the performers and the stories, help them develop a love of theatre as a form of expression and enjoyment.
Some of the best productions are about children! Think of Annie, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda and Chitty, Chitty Bang Bang. (Well technically, this is of course about a magical car, but Jeremy and Jemima are the two fearless children with the help of Chitty, liberate hundreds of children from the Baron, Baroness and evil child catcher!).
There’s also amazing production companies such as The Horse and Bamboo based in Rossendale, who have specific productions aimed at children and young people , and are an educational paradise for parents, teachers and carers who want to take their kids to an environment where they will learn from and enjoy the whole experience in a completely different way to that of a normal classroom scenario.
And why not think about putting on your own production? Encouraging creative play is something we are particularly passionate about at Discovering days, and we offer a range of toys suitable from Early Years learning through Key Stage 1 and 2 of the National Curriculum, all beautifully handcrafted from sustainable Scandinavian resources.
So, if you want to find out more ways of how to celebrate World Theatre Day, or if you are interested in any of our beautiful, hand crafted wooden toys to encourage and stimulate creative play, you can contact us here, or call 01282 416 755 to speak to one of our dedicated team at Discovering Days.
We promise not to break in to song, and we won’t start reading from one of Shakespeare’s Sonnets, but we’d be delighted to get in to a dialogue about our wonderful wooden toys, and how you can encourage future stage productions with a plethora of talented, creative actors!