Stratford Upon Avon’s claim to fame is that Shakespeare was born and raised there in addition to the fact that the Royal Shakespeare Theatre is there as well.
It is a very compact and crowded town with a modest selection of hotels. So do your research ahead of time and book something before arriving. Also, reserve tickets for the theatre online, www.rsc.org.uk, prior to arriving to assure you can get them.
We had not booked a hotel, but luckily found one near the center of town. We knew ahead of time there were no tickets available as we had looked online and even called long distance. Their suggestion was to come to the ticket office before the performance to see if anyone had returned their tickets.
Once in town, we also discovered that the original Royal Shakespeare Theatre was closed and under construction so an interim facility was being used. As we walked toward the interim facility to see if we could get tickets the afternoon performance had just finished as we were faced with wave after wave of people leaving. We couldn’t quite believe so many people had been accommodated in an interim facility. Upon arriving we were told that the interim facility was a replica of the original and sat over 1000 people!
Once in line we were seeing people ahead of us being told there were no tickets for that evening’s performance. For some reason we stuck it out and when it was our turn we were told that in no uncertain terms there were no tickets. Then for no particular reason, Harman asked the ticket agent what the theatre was like inside and she readily turned her computer monitor towards us to show us a virtual tour of it. Harman then pointed to two seats in the first row and said “We would really like to have tickets for those two seats for tonight’s performance”. The ticket agent then said “Well let me see what I can do.” Within two minutes we walked away with two tickets for those two seats! Harman and I just looked at each other in amazement. We have a saying, “The impossible you can do in no time. A miracle takes a little longer!” Another of our sayings is, “You don’t ask, you don’t get!”
Not only were the seats great, the performance was “Twelfth Night”, a terrific comedy. It was the most enjoyable stage performance either of us had attended in our lives!
Prior to going to the theatre, we toured Shakespeare's home
and had a meal at the Old Thatch Tavern, a 600 year old pub and Shakespeare's favorite "watering hole".