Shakespeare’s Globe

Top choice theatre in The South Bank

If you love Shakespeare and the theatre, the Globe will knock your theatrical socks off. This authentic Shakespearean theatre is a wooden 'O' without a roof over the central stage area, and although there are covered wooden bench seats in tiers around the stage, many people (there’s room for 700) do as 17th-century ‘groundlings’ did, and stand in front of the stage.

You may have to wrap up, as the building is quite open to the elements. Groundlings note: umbrellas are not allowed, but cheap raincoats are on sale. Unexpected aircraft noise is unavoidable too.

The theatre season runs from late April to mid-October and includes works by Shakespeare and his contemporaries, such as Christopher Marlowe.

If you don't like the idea of standing in the rain or sitting in the cold, opt for an indoor candle-lit play in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, a Jacobean theatre similar to the one Shakespeare would have used in winter. The programming also includes opera.