Things to do in London

Best Royal Shakespeare Company shows and how to buy the tickets

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London is home to some of the world's most prestigious theatres, and attending a show at one of these theatres is an experience you will never forget. The city also has an amazing selection of shows - whether you're interested in musicals, plays, or comedies. Watching a show in London is also a great way to support the city's arts scene and help keep its theaters alive and thriving.

One such theatre is the world renowned Royal Shakespeare Company, where you get to watch the plays of the legendary William Shakespeare, as well as other playwrights!

What is The Royal Shakespeare Company?

The Royal Shakespeare Company, or the RSC is a British theatrical company based in Stratford-upon-Avon that specializes in performances of works by William Shakespeare and other Elizabethan and Jacobean playwrights. The company was founded on 20 March 1961 by the founder Peter Hall, with the royal declaration that the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre would be called the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and the company would be called the Royal Shakespeare Company since then.

The company now has expanded its repertoire under the direction of Gregory Doran since 2013, and it now performs modern works as well as Shakespearean plays. The RSC is one of the theatre companies in the UK, with the best funding available for its development.

The company also has a base in Newcastle and tours internationally. Artistic directors subsequent to Peter Hall have been Trevor Nunn, Terry Hands, Adrian Noble, Michael Boyd, and Gregory Doran.

Best Shows to Watch at Royal Shakespeare Company

Maybe you are an old-school soul who wants to watch a Shakespeare-drama or an experimenter who likes to watch those of a budding playwright, there are many reasons to get Tickets to the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Which is why we’ve curated the best tickets to the best shows, at the best prices!

How to buy Royal Shakespeare Company Show Tickets?

Whether you're a fan of Shakespeare, plays or just a casual theatre-goer, it is always a good idea to awaken the drama-enthusiast in you, and hence a visit to the Royal Shakespeare Company is something you should definitely do while in London!

While booking the Tickets to shows at the Royal Shakespeare Company can seem like a hassle, we've got you covered - you can book your shows of interest whenever you wish to, at the best price!

Besides, you can save your time and some bucks to explore the rest of London!

Theatres Inside The Royal Shakespeare Company

The RSC has two main theatres in Stratford-upon-Avon, the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and the Swan Theatre. In 2007, the Royal Shakespeare Company closed its two main theatres, in order to expand and refurbish them. The company's temporary venue, the Courtyard Theatre, served as its home during this time. The renovations were completed in 2010 and included new dressing rooms, dining facilities, and a thrust-stage auditorium that seated more than 1,000 people. This new auditorium brought viewers much closer to the actors than in the previous theatre and encouraged a relationship between actor and audience similar to that of the Elizabethan era.

The Royal Shakespeare Theatre
The Royal Shakespeare Theatre is the main venue - where all the plays of Shakespeare are performed, among other performances. The Theatre is situated on Waterside, alongside the River Avon, and features a 1,018-seat thrust stage theatre. A Grade II listed building, the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre retains many of the art deco features of the 1932 building. After a three-year transformation project, it reopened in November 2010.

The Swan Theatre
The Swan Theatre is an intimate theater that seats 426 people on three sides of a platform stage. It opened in 1986 with the intention of performing the works of European writers from the same time period as William Shakespeare, as well as the occasional plays by Shakespeare himself. The first production staged at the theatre was The Two Noble Kinsmen, written by both Shakespeare and John Fletcher. The Theatre has been used for various genres - including the works of Chekhov, Ibsen, and Tennessee Williams.

The Other Place
The Other Place is Located down the road from the other theatres. It is a popular place to watch a performance in the 200-seat theatre and enjoy a meal at Susie's cafe bar. The Other Place features fresh talents - writers and brand new plays every year and is preferred for intimate shows, besides the variety of music, poetry, and family events. In March 2016 the structure was restored to a 200-seat theatre. The theatre will reopen for the Mischief Festival from the 30th of September 2022 to the 5th of November 2022.

The Barbican Theatre
The Barbican Theatre is the London home of the Royal Shakespeare Company. It opened in 1982 as part of the Barbican Centre arts complex and has since hosted a wide range of our productions. With more than 1,000 seats, it is one of the largest theatres at the Barbican Centre, which also includes a library, art gallery, and several food outlets. The Centre is open seven days a week and admission are free. Their most recent productions at the Barbican were As You Like It, The Taming of the Shrew and Measure for Measure in 2019.

Top 5 Things to do at The Royal Shakespeare Company

1 Watch a Show at the Royal Shakespeare Company


The Royal Shakespeare Company is one of the most renowned theater companies in the world, and watching a show there is inevitable! Its London theater, the Barbican, is an impressive complex that offers a variety of facilities, including a library, art gallery, and food outlets. The theater itself has more than 1,000 seats and hosts a variety of productions each year. Shows at the Royal Shakespeare Company are always top-quality and offer an unforgettable theatrical experience. And of course, the entire place allows visitors to learn about the greatest playwright of all time, William Shakespeare.

2The Play’s The Thing


The Play’s The Thing is an interactive exhibition, depicting where visitors will get to experience the process of theatre-making at the Royal Shakespeare Company over the years. The walls are filled with historical pieces, and stories, collected over the years. Many of the costumes from the plays are for display, giving a broad overview of Shakespeare's stories, and the historical background at that time. You may also try the interactive Magic Costume Mirror, from where you can try virtual outfits. Other highlights in the collection include the First Folio, one of only 234 surviving copies of the playwright's work published in 1623, as well as the Chandos Portrait of Shakespeare, which was painted during his lifetime.

3Take a seat at the Café


After all the drama at the plays, you would need to sit back and relax somewhere. Luckily, the RSC has two cafés located inside - the Riverside Café and Swan Café.

Located on the Banks of River Avon, the Riverside Café is a breath of fresh air, with its freshly baked cakes and coffee with a serenading river view.

Located inside the theatre, the Swan Café is an ornately decorated place - with a chandelier, modern chairs, wooden details, and intricate wall paneling. They offer pastries and coffee, along with many more options.

4 See the Bird's Eye View of Shakespeare's Hometown


The 32-meter-high RSC tower allows visitors to see the picturesque views of the playwright's town - including the River Avon, Stratford, and the surroundings! On a clear day, visitors can see as far as 20 miles.

Each visitor can only spend 20 minutes here, due to space constraints. The tower is open daily from 10 AM to 4:30/ 5 PM, depending on the season.

5Sit on the Insult Chair


If you didn't know, Shakespeare is often known as the pun-master due to his witty dialogues and delightful insults. Located next to the theatrical base is the insult chair, and as harmless as it may seem, you can sit here to hear a few of Shakespeare's noteworthy insults. The dialogues are voiced by renowned Shakespearian actors, and mind you, the snarly remarks are not for the faint-hearted!

After all, who wouldn't want to be addressed as "thou lily-livered boy" or "a crusty botch of nature"? (pun intended)

Click here to know more about the Seating Charts in London Theatres >

Plan Your Visit

By Car
From the North:
You can take these following route - M1, M5, M40 and then catch the A46.

From the South:
Take the M40 route and then junction 15 followed by the A46.

By Train
There are direct train routes from Birmingham New Street and London Marylebone to Stratford upon Avon.

By Bus
It takes about 3 hours in the National Express coaches that run from London Victoria to the location.

How to Dress for a Theatre Show in London?


If you're heading to the Royal Shakespeare Company in London, it's important to know how to dress for the show. While the dress code isn't strictly formal, we recommend wearing something smart just in case.

That means no jeans, T-shirts or trainers. Instead, go for a shirt and trousers or a dress and heels.

Insider Tips

    If you're visiting the Royal Shakespeare Company in London for the first time, here are some tips to help you make the most of your experience:

  • If you're seeing a show at the Barbican Theatre, it's worth arriving early to explore the theatre and its surroundings.
  • The Barbican Centre is open seven days a week and is free to visit.
  • Turn off your phone and save yourself from the embarrassment, and the distaste of the crowd!
  • The Barbican Theatre is one of the main venues for the RSC, and it's well worth visiting even if you're not seeing a show. There's a library, art gallery and food outlets on site, as well as a range of other facilities.
  • Read the synopsis of the show to better understand the performance.
  • Make sure to book the Royal Shakespeare Company tickets in advance if you're travelling from outside of London. Although the tickets can be bought on the day of the performance from the box office, you may or may not be guaranteed a seat if all the seats gets filled.
  • The RSC offers a range of discounts for visitors, including students, families and seniors. Be sure to check that out!


When was the Royal Shakespeare Company founded? 

The RSC was founded in 1961 by Peter Hall.

What is the Royal Shakespeare Company's mission? 

From its inception, the company has been dedicated to producing and promoting Shakespeare's work.

Is there a dress code for the shows at the Royal Shakespeare Company?

 There is no dress code for the shows at Royal Shakespeare Company, but most people tend to dress up. 

What are Royal Shakespeare Theatre's opening hours?

From Monday to Saturday, the Royal Shakespeare Theatre opens from 10 AM - 11 PM/ or until the last show ends. On Sundays the theatre operates from 10 AM - 5 PM.

What is the seating capacity at the Royal Shakespeare Company?

The RSC has a capacity of around 1,200 people.