Got tickets for one of our London shows? Make a day of it with ideas and tips from our cast.

Enjoy the Barbican Centre

A group of actors pose outside of the Barbican Centre.
Some of our Barbican season actors outside the theatre.
Photo by Ellie Kurttz © RSC Browse and license our images

If you're planning to catch a show at the Barbican, Joseph suggests it's well worth taking the time to explore the rest of the building, too: "I love the Barbican. It’s easy to disappear in that building very quickly."

Amy recommends a pit stop at the cafe or, if you need something stronger, director Justin has an idea: "Go have a cocktail at Oriole Bar on East Poultry Avenue near the Barbican."

There's also currently the free Trevor Paglen exhibition, From 'Apple' to 'Anomaly', in The Curve exhibition space, which uses 30,000 individually printed photographs to explore artificial intelligence.

Go sightseeing

St Paul's Cathedral.
Photo via © Garry Knight Browse and license our images

There's obviously plenty to see and do in London, and Lucy came up with a pre-show plan for visitors, starting at "St Paul’s Cathedral, which isn’t that far from the Barbican. You can go for a nice stroll just before the show… it’s beautiful. Borough Market, walking from this market up the Southbank, National History Museum, walk through Covent Garden, up The Monument. Take a boat along the river. Old pubs!"

Joseph recommends getting a view of the city from higher up: "My favourite spot in London is the top of Parliament Hill – you can see the beauty of the London skyline in 360 degrees."

No theatre on an empty stomach!

People walking through Whitecross Street Market.
Whitecross Street Market.
Photo via © Matt Brown Browse and license our images

Amy suggests that Cutter and Squidge is "amazing...if you're in the market for cake", while Claire recommends Notes on St Martin's Lane: "Notes is the best for coffee. Notes for oat latte, If you want an oat latte (I know that's quite a rare thing...niche)."

Joseph agrees that Notes is great for a coffee between shows, but also recommends taking a look around the market on Whitecross Street for something a bit more substantial to eat.

Get that Christmas shopping done

Coloured lights over Carnaby Street.
Carnaby Street.
Photo via © Matt Brown Browse and license our images

If you've got gifts to buy, we have ideas of where to start:

Lucy: St Christopher’s Place. You go down a tiny little alleyway and it feels like you’re going back in time and then you open out and it’s a little square with some nice shops and it’s very Christmassy. 

And if you're on your way to see Matilda The Musical at the Cambridge Theatre, Joseph says: There are loads of brilliant independent shops around the Seven Dials area. 

Charlotte: Carnaby Street is a favourite of mine. There’re a lot of good bars, good music, just a really lovely atmosphere around the whole area and some great shopping too.

Lucy: Liberties in London is lovely to go in. It’s very expensive but it’s nice to look around it and get ideas then go somewhere else that’s a bit cheaper!

Get that really late Christmas shopping done...

Christmas shoppers outside Selfridges in London.
Selfridges at Christmas.
Photo via © Paul Wilkinson Browse and license our images

And if you're a bit of a last minute shopper, Claire's got you covered: "Selfridges on Christmas Eve, that’s the way to do your shopping. And actually this is really letting people into a secret because nobody goes because they think it will be full and it’s not. That’s the place to go. The atmosphere’s really nice and also you have to leave with presents because that’s the end of the shopping day so you just have to do it. It focuses the mind." 

Thanks to Joseph Arkley, Charlotte Arrowsmith, Sophie Khan-Levy, Lucy Phelps, Claire Price, Amy Trigg and director Justin Audibert for their suggestions. 

Find out more about the shows we have going on in London with our What's On page.