The RSC offer many different tours of their buildings, and last time I was in Stratford I took the opportunity to take their After Dark Tour. This takes place after the shows have finished and the theatre has emptied. Waiting for the guide by the cloakroom when everyone else has left is rather spooky in itself, and the tour as a whole was incredibly creepy.
We were taken in and out of the backstage areas, up to the restaurant and the bars, and even into both of the auditoria, with no light other than our guide’s torch. She regaled us with fascinating stories of grey ladies and angry actors, ghostly front of house staff (including the Perfumed Lady) and even a supposed sighting of the original theatre’s architect.
The RSC building has an incredible amount of history, with the first theatre being built in the late nineteenth century and the second being constructed in the thirties. Refurbishment in 2010 preserved many of the original theatre’s features, so it’s not hard to imagine spooky happenings.
Whether you believe in ghosts or not, this tour is absolutely fascinating and I would definitely recommend it, even if you’ve already done the RSC backstage tour.