Madrid has a varied schedule of theatrical performances and many opera houses. Many musical shows are performed at the theatres on the Grand Via and are well worth seeing. It’s most famous theatre is located in the city centre and is called the National Madrid Theatre. The theatre is extremely distinctive with a Spanish revival style both inside and out and a luxurious interior decorated with beautiful, ornate plaster painted in brilliant Spanish reds and blues. The theatre was constructed in 1925 and has the capacity to hold 800 people. Popular plays such as ‘Cats’, ‘Phantom of the Opera’ and ‘Evita’ have been staged here. The Teatro Real or Royal Theatre was constructed in 1850 on the orders of Queen Isobel II and provides one of the world’s best settings for opera. The theatre was closed for many years but reopened in 1966 and since then has hosted the Eurovision Song Contest amongst a multitude of other excellent performances.
The Teatro Alfil is a relatively new theatre in Madrid that was created a decade ago and is situated in the mecca of culture and art lovers near Gran Via. The theatre itself, although officially considered mainstream, frequently presents alternative and avant-garde performances ranging from stand-up comic shows to sharp satires. The venue is largely known among the theatre public in Madrid as a centre of humour and comedy, having hosted the Internacional Teatro de Humor in the past. A large majority of the performances are in Spanish and because text and dialogue play a crucial role, these performances can be barely understood without a solid knowledge of the language. The theatre hall is small and cosy with a capacity of approximately 200.
Situated in the middle of the bustling Chueca district, El Canto de la Cabra is one of the most fascinating theatre venues in Madrid. The performances held here are predominantly comedies and humorous works of contemporary Spanish and foreign playwrights. Apart from presenting these innovative plays, the company (by the same name) that owns the spot sets a large number of its own productions on the stage. Space is quite limited with only 70 seats being available, but this contributes to the hearty and casual atmosphere. In the summer months, however, the theatre organises open-air performances on the patio – an event that is the only one of this kind in the Spanish capital.
Wonderfully situated in the middle of the old town of Madrid, the Albeniz Theatre belongs to the institutions of great importance for the development of Spanish theatre through the years. Established in 1945, it continues to be one of the largest and most spacious theatres in the region with a capacity of 1,040 seats. The theatre provides a stage for performances of different genres, including drama and classical plays, ballet, dance shows, and even opera or zarzuela. The place is particularly popular as a venue of annual flamenco events like the Caja Madrid Flamenco Festival and Flamenco Dance Choreography Competition. Furthermore, the Albeniz Theatre maintains long-lasting beneficial collaboration with the National Ballet of Cuba.