Cultural highlights in the UK & Ireland this autumn

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Autumn escorts us into the darker months but on the stages where the spotlights always shine, you are sure to find some much needed relief and excellent entertainment when visiting the UK and Ireland. Discover the top ways to make the best of the season below.

Festival Theatre Edinburgh

The lavish Festival theatre Edinburgh was built in 1994 and has a long and impressive history. Before or after the show you can partake in the popular backstage tour to see what happens behind the stage walls. In the coming season, you can catch one of the classics like Shakespeare in Love or King Lear or even Les Misérables. Check the theatre website to see what's on at the Festival Theater Edinburgh.

Dancers at the theatre

Edinburgh Playhouse

The Edinburgh Playhouse has a long history and is the UK’s largest working theatre, seating more than 3,000 guests over three levels. The theatre was originally a cinema but today it’s the home of many a famous musical. Scotland’s capital has a vibrant cultural scene worth exploring, which is easy when you’re staying in Radisson Blu Hotel, Edinburgh, located on the historic Royal Mile, just ten minutes’ walk from both the Playhouse and Festival Theatre.  

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Gala Theatre, Durham

If you find yourself in the northern part of England, like Durham, you’re in luck. The Gala Theatre is a stellar venue with a great variety of productions. Whether you prefer comedy, dance music or drama, there will be something on the programme that you’ll enjoy. Spend an unforgettable night in the theatre and head back home to the nearby Radisson Blu Hotel, Durham, just a six-minute walk from the venue.

Ballerina looking at the stage

Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester

This city centre venue has been in the spotlight since its beginning in 1976, being one of the largest of its kind. With the capacity to hold an audience up to 700 people and an average of 350 performances per year, the Royal Exchange Theatre is a venue worth making a trip out of. Check out his year’s autumn-winter programme.

Royal Exchange Theatre

When flying in for a long weekend or show, stay at Radisson Blu Hotel Manchester Airport located near the terminals and only 15 kilometres from the city centre.

Manchester Arena

Dance to the beats of Boy George, rock out with Slayer, or swing your hips to an Enrique Iglesias concert. No matter what age or preference, there is something you can sway, two-step or head bang to at this entertaining stadium, the Manchester Arena. Check the arena's website to find out more about the big names at this season's events.

Manchester Arena

© Matthew Hartley / Flickr

Abbey Theatre, Dublin

The Abbey Theatre is old, grand and also known as the National Theatre of Ireland, located in Dublin. It is one of the premiere destinations for shows and musicals in the city, showcasing both Irish and international theatre and also a popular venue for cultural events.

Abbey Theatre Dublin front view

© bjaglin / Flickr

Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, Dublin

This Dublin theatre is relatively new and opened with a spectacular show, the Swan Lake performed by the Russian State Ballet. Since the opening, the programme has been filled with large-scale productions that would please any artistic passion and preference. Find out more about the theatre's program and future events here.

Bord Gais Theatre exterior night view

© Bord Gáis Theatre

3Arena

This legendary venue formerly known as the 3Arena is located at North Wall Quay in Dublin and has the capacity to hold 14,500 guests. 3Arena is the fifth busiest venue of its kind in the world and has featured Guns n’ Roses and a wealth of other superstars. This season, you can see anything from Andrea Bocelli to U2. There is a world of entertainment at your feet, all you have to do is pick your favourite and enjoy.

All Time Low perform at 3 Arena Dublin

Whether you’re in town for business or leisure and just want to catch a show there are several Radisson Blu Hotels in Dublin. If you're looking to make the best of flying in and flying out, then the Radisson Blu Hotel, Dublin Airport is conveniently located near the airport and only 20 minutes from the city centre.

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The Old Vic, London

In London you can enjoy some of the best theatres and performances in the UK. The Old Vic stage has been home bewitching shows and enchanting performances dating all the way back to the beginning in 1818. Kevin Spacey has been artistic director since 2003 and keeps on presenting memorable performances year after year.

Old vic theatre London

© The Old Vic Theatre

The Globe, London

Perhaps one of the most famous theatres in London, the Globe is worth a visit when you’re in town. The venue, built in 1599 by Shakespeare’s playing company, the Lord Chamberlain’s Men was destroyed in a fire but resurrected in 1614. This is the premiere destination to relish in the talent of some of the world’s best playwrights. Naturally, the programme represents the classic Shakespeare plays like A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Macbeth and The Merchant of Venice.

Shakespeare show at Globe Theatre

Leicester Square Theatres, London

Leicester Square is a stellar West End spot in itself, an entertainment area full of attractions, cinemas and restaurants. Secondly, it is filled to the brim with quality venues showing some of the most popular shows in the world. Stop by Chinatown Market, head to the National Gallery or walk the Leicester Square Garden before taking your seat before the stage of one of these legendary venues:

The Garrick Theatre

Find the best of performing arts and film in this historic venue, putting on shows since 1889. From Chicago to Romeo & Juliet to Judy Dench and Ira Aldridge, the spectacular list of shows goes on. The Garrick Theatre always delivers.

English National Opera

The English National Opera's stage has seen almost every world-class performer in this genre, heard every crystal-clear high note and every pitch perfect harmony. From spectacular sets to stunning costumes, a visit to the National Opera assures a memorable evening.

English National Opera interior

© guillaume-de-LAUBIER

Noël Coward Theatre

Since 1903, the Noel Coward theatre has been the venue of several new shows, including the successful production of Gatz. The audience has been lucky enough to see the works of Helen Mirren, Katharine Hepburn and of course the theatre’s namesake Sir Noël Pierce Coward.

Queen’s Theatre

You cannot expect anything less than perfection and a spectacular programme from the Queen’s Theatre. Topping the already impressive list of performances including Sondheim’s Passion and the classic Hamlet will be tough, but they kick off the first quarter with the audience favourite Les Misérables.

Queens Theatre London

Leicester Square Theatre

Leicester Square Theatre reopened in 2008, and has since then established itself as one of the best comedy venues in the city. Famous comedians like Michael McIntyre, Joan Rivers and Russell Howard has taken to the stage here, as well as several live musicians.

Leicester Square Theatre small stage

© Leicester Square Theatre / Facebook

To experience the heart and soul London, explore as many different parts of it as time allows. One of the most vibrant areas is Marylebone, home to the Radisson Blu Portman Hotel, London. Conveniently enough, the hotel is located a mere 30-minute walk from Leicester Square. If you are on a flying visit and only have time for a quick trip into the city for an evening of theatre before an early flight, then Radisson Blu Hotel London Stansted Airport is the ideal choice, taking you easily to and from London with the Stansted Express.

With so many things to see and do in the UK this autumn, it’s time to start browsing the web for your favorite tickets!

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Psst! Enjoy a festive visit to London this year to get into the Christmas spirit early!

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