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2 Questions - Shakespeare and the Barbican

2 Questions - Shakespeare and the Barbican

Jan 7th, 2008, 11:38 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 40
2 Questions - Shakespeare and the Barbican

Middle-aged woman, traveling alone to England, mid-May.

Question 1 - I have a ticket for the London Symphony at the Barbican Centre on a Sunday evening. The nearest bus stop looks to be a couple blocks away. Is it dangerous to walk there after dark on a Sunday? Should I plan to call a taxi?

Question 2 - Also planning to visit Stratford-Upon-Avon and would like to see a play. Can I wait to buy that ticket at the door? Or does Shakespeare usually sell out?

Khiori is offline  
Jan 7th, 2008, 01:30 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
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There is a tube station right there so depending on where you are heading that might be better than the buses. But there are also bus stops nearby.

I've always been able to buy tix to Stratford on the day - but it will depend on who/what is on. However - did you know the theatres at Stratford are being restored/remodeled/rebuilt? There will be performances but not in the main bldg.

You might be better off taking in a play at the Globe in London or some other venue.
janisj is offline  
Jan 8th, 2008, 05:13 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Around the Barbican is as safe as anywhere, but the general urban design can feel very alienating (lots of gloomy concrete). It's the only place I know that's had to paint an Ariadne-thread on the ground to help you find your way around. Don't be alarmed - the residents in the development are very well-heeled - but don't be surprised.

The arts centre is close enough to Barbican and Moorgate tube stations, and here are the local bus routes:

PatrickLondon is offline  
Jan 8th, 2008, 05:31 AM
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Do not call a taxi for the Barbican. You'll never find each other.

At 2130 in mid-May it'll be getting gloomy going on dark. The area is astonishingly safe, but it's also deserted. So if you're the sort of person who asks such questions, you might find waiting at a bus-stop, when buses are at their Sunday frequency, intimidating. In which case, you'd probably be more comfortable getting the tube (the Ariadne threads show you the way to both Moorgate and Barbican stations).

Or, given the profusion of bus stops, you might want advice from the regulars here about which bus stop in the direction you're going is least isolated-feeling
flanneruk is offline  
Jan 8th, 2008, 05:42 AM
Join Date: Nov 2007
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My wife and I did a driving tour of England in May 2006, stopping in Stratford. We bought tickets online to the Royal Shakespeare Company and saw Julius Ceasar. If I recall correctly we bought the tickets about 60 days before the trip, as a package deal with a hotel there in town. It was a very reasonable deal, very nice hotel, and excellent seats. The performance looked to be sold out, so I would not wait to buy at the door if you are going in spring / summer.
Have fun! Stratford is wonderful. The Shakespeare home appears very touristy, but is extremely well done. Make sure to have lunch at the Black Swan.
64driver is offline  
Jan 9th, 2008, 04:56 AM
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Barbican is in a fairly safe area, then? I saw the tube station was closer, but thought it wasn't recommended to take the tube at night?

Had heard about the renovations in Stratford-Upon-Avon. It's all in one large venue for right now.

From the replies, it seems one person is sayiing 'Buy at the door' and another is saying 'Buy 60 days out'. Anyone else???

Thanks for all your replies!
Khiori is offline  
Jan 9th, 2008, 05:11 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
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"thought it wasn't recommended to take the tube at night?"

Balderdash. On stilts, with its eyes blindfolded. Wherever you heard that from, it's bonkers. No-one who's ever been here could possibly have said it. The tube's the safest place in London any time of the day or night.

And none of us are saying the Barbican's "fairly safe". Patrick and I have made it perfectly clear: the place is as safe as anywhere on the planet.
flanneruk is offline  
Jan 9th, 2008, 05:15 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
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Who told you not to take the tube at night? It will be safe in central London. Especially so after a play or concert gets out since probably 75%+ of the rest of the audience will also be headiing to the same tube station.

About tix at Stratford. As I said it mostly depends on WHO is in the cast. Even RSC patrons are affected by "star power". Judi Dench - book far ahead, someone no one has ever heard of - and hour before will do.

I once saw Sam West in Hamlet buying tix on the afternoon (Maybe not a huge name in the States but big enough in the UK)

But if you know your date for sure, there is no reason to wait. Go ahead and book.
janisj is offline  
Jan 9th, 2008, 10:51 AM
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Okay, now that IS clear! Thanks very much!

flanneruk - I live in Philadelphia. The subway is fine during the day, but after rush hour...NOT a place you want to be! Different P.O.V.
Khiori is offline  
Jan 9th, 2008, 02:21 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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Oh, yes, you can take the tube at night. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised. Most of the folks you see on the tube will also be heading home from plays--note the programs they're carrying.

I've traveled alone many times in London, and the tube is one thing I rely on. Just follow some fellow-theatregoers out to the tube stop, and you'll be fine.
Merseyheart is offline  
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