While we may all have different tastes when it comes to theatrical performances, what we can agree on is that each and every one of us can appreciate the magnificent architecture, exquisite interiors and beautiful, individual stories that define theatres around the globe. From ancient Greek and Roman designs to classical modern wonders, every theatre appears to be as unique and exceptional as the performances they stage. So we've compiled a list of the world's most extraordinary theatres that you simply must visit!
The Odeon of Herodes Atticus, Greece
What better location to begin than in Greece, the acclaimed forefather of theatre and genesis of the dramatic genres of tragedy and comedy. The legendary Odeon of Herodes Atticus sits on the south slope of the Acropolis of Athens, an ancient structure built between 160 and 174 BC by the wealthy and distinguished Greek philosopher Herodes Atticus. Nowadays, this immense structure is simply known as Herodeon, but nothing about the majestic theatre is simplistic. With a seating capacity of over 5000, Herodeon exudes an overwhelming sense of grandeur and cultural significance. If its striking architecture wasn't enough, this Grecian wonder annually hosts the Athens and Epidaurus Festival, which puts on a wide variety of theatrical performances, from ancient Greek tragedies such as 'Medea' by Euripides to contemporary thrillers like 'Sweeny Todd'.
Minack Theatre, England
The Minack Theatre located in the quaint village of Porthcurno is truly one of a kind. Perched perilously on the cliffs of Cornwall's coastline above the wild Atlantic Ocean, the Minack is one of the world's most famous outdoor theatres. This unique venue was originally created to host Shakespeare's 'The Tempest', (we can't think of a more suitable production given the dramatic costal location), which was first performed in 1932. Since then the Minack Theatre has put on hundreds of performances. With amazing views and the opportunity to watch remarkable performances accompanied by the lulling sound of the waves as they lap against the coastal rocks, the Minack Theatre provides a truly memorable experience.
The Globe Theatre, England
The Globe Theatre in London's Bankside district is iconic to say the least, above all due to its link with William Shakespeare, England's most renowned poet, playwright and actor. The theatre company to which Shakespeare belonged erected the Elizabethan venue in 1599 on the south bank of the River Thames. Throughout the next decade many of Shakespeare's plays were performed there; 'Julius Caesar', 'Macbeth', and 'Othello' to name but a few. In 1613 a fire destroyed the Globe Theatre during a performance of Henry VIII; it was faithfully reconstructed in 1997 under the name of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, in homage to the celebrated playwright. Watching one of this famous literary bard's plays at a venue which embodies so much history, culture and literary heritage is honestly inspiring.
Arena di Verona, Italy
Few venues compare to the classical, almost regal Arena di Verona, a traditional open-air Roman amphitheater set in the heart of Italy's northern city Verona. Dating back to the 1st century A.D, the Arena di Verona is one of the largest amphitheaters of its kind, after the Colosseum and Capua. Originally built with the intention to host gladiator fights, circus entertainment, equestrian events and ancient sports during the height of the Roman Empire, today's performances are of a different kind, but are no less entertaining. This historic architectural masterpiece can seat an astounding 13,000 spectators, who will no doubt all be blown away by this breathtaking venue, its beautiful location and classic historic ambiance.
Seebühne Theatre, Austria
Seebühne, which means 'lake stage' in German, is the name given to Austria's most unique and ambitious theatre. Set on the shores of the tranquil Lake Constance which borders Switzerland and Germany, this open air theatre is not your average venue. It is the location of the famous Bregenz Festival which is an annual performing arts event founded in 1946. The festival, which takes places over 2 months, consists of hundreds of theatrical extravaganzas and performances. Seating over 7,000 spectators, the Seebühne Theatre invites its audience to watch enchanting plays set against the spectacular backdrop of the lake and its beautiful shoreline. This distinctive venue is renowned for its amazing and artistic large-scale set designs, and floating stage which was even featured in the 2008 James Bond film Quantum of Solace. We can't think of a more awe-inspiring and striking location to enjoy a theatrical performance!