The majority of theatres across the world are stunning spaces. No matter what their size, the way they are constructed and designed make them appeal to the masses – it’s part of what makes going to the theatre such a wonderful experience. Yes, seeing a great performance will be enjoyable no matter where you are or what your surroundings, but if you can see it in a gorgeous place with magnificent surroundings then it will be even further enhanced. The theatre isn’t just about the show, after all – it’s the entire experience combined from getting dressed up to go out to the theatre itself.
The following theatres are some of the most iconic and beautiful in the world. How many have you visited? How many are on your wish life? We love them all!
La Seine Musicale, Paris, France
La Seine Musicale is a uniquely impressive and absolutely transfixing theatre. It was designed by award-winning architect Shigeru Ban, and includes an oval shaped auditorium with a wall of solar panels that moves to keep in line with the sun. It’s a remarkable feat of engineering, and the large theatre itself can seat up to 6,000 people. There is also a smaller auditorium for 1,150 people, and this is where the Insula Orchestra performs. To see examples of the kind of solar panels used, visit MyPower.
Minack Theatre, Cornwall, UK
It was Rowena Cade who designed and built the wonderful Minack Theatre in Porthcurno, Cornwall. She actually built this lovely little building at the bottom of her garden, and it was intended solely for one group of amateur players to use. As time went on, the theatre was opened up to more and more groups (although the requirement to be amateur was and is still present), and today there are as many as 17 different plays put on there each year.
The Seebühne, Lake Constance, Austria
Seebühne translates as ‘floating stage’, which certainly goes some way to explaining why this particular theatre is so special. It is located right on the shore of Lake Constance, and with 7,000 seats it is a big, beautiful beast. This is where the biggest budget and largest scale musical performances are carried out, and the theatre is used extensively during the famous Bregenz Festival. The Seebühne is so iconic is even features in Quantum of Solace, the 2008 James Bond movie.
The Winter Garden, Toronto, Canada
The Winter Garden dates back to 1913 and although it isn’t the oldest theatre on our list, it is definitely one of the most stunning. It is impressive due to its height – seven storeys – and because it is the only working double decker theatre in the world. That’s a feat of engineering that isn’t seen much anymore, so if you get the chance to see a performance of something when in Toronto, the chance should not be missed.
Odeon of Herodes Atticus, Athens, Greece
Of course, no list of the world’s most beautiful theatres would be complete without at least one participant from Greece, and the Odeon of Herodes Atticus (or the Herodeon for short!) is a worthy entry. It’s ancient too – completed in 174AD, and sitting on the southern slopes of the amazing Acropolis. Perhaps one of the oldest working theatres in the world, when the Athens Festival is on the Herodeon plays host to plays, dances, and musical performances.
Shakespeare’s Globe, London, UK
Although this is a relatively new theatre (it was founded by director and actor Sam Wannamaker in 1997), it is a reconstruction of the original Globe Theatre, which was originally constructed way back in 1599. After just 14 years, it was completely destroyed by fire in 1613, but a year later it was re-built. Sadly, just 30 years after that, it was demolished to make way for housing. Seeing a need for some good old fashioned (and really rather lovely) theatre space, Wannamaker took in the challenge of reconstructing the Globe as closely to the original as possible, whilst still making it comfortable for modern audiences. Over the past 20 plus years, the theatre has been a huge success.
Tampa Theatre, Florida, USA
The Tampa Theatre opened in 1926 and has been a hit ever since. It’s the brainchild of architect John Eberson, and it’s the interior that really impresses. It is designed to look as much like the courtyard of a Mediterranean village, complete with 99 lamps embedded in the ceiling which are meant to be the twinkling stars of on a warm summer’s night. It’s no wonder that people love to visit this place, no matter what’s playing.