When this theater, designed by Sir Denys Lasdun, opened in 1976 Londoners weren't all so keen on the low-slung, multilayered Brutalist block. Prince Charles described the building as "a clever way of building a nuclear power station in the middle of London without anyone objecting." But whatever its merits or demerits as a feature on the landscape, the National Theatre's interior spaces are definitely worth a tour. Interspersed with the three theaters—the 1,150-seat
Olivier, the 890-seat Lyttelton, and the revamped 400-seat Dorfman (formerly the Cottesloe)—is a multilayered foyer with exhibitions, bars, and restaurants, and free entertainment. Musicals, classics, and new plays are all performed by top-flight professionals. Some shows offer £12 ticket deals.
Belvedere Rd., London, SE1 9PX, England
020-7452–3000-box office; 020-7452–3400-information