By Phil Boucher and Alison Schwartz
September 09, 2012 12:15 PM
Credit: XPosure

Tom Cruise took a break from filming to experience acting from a different angle: as an audience member.

Cruise took his seat at London’s famed Globe Theatre for a performance of William Shakespeare’s classic, Richard III – and like his fellow theatergoers, that seat was atop a cushion on a wooden bench.

After dining at China Tang at The Dorchester restaurant, Cruise, 50, in the U.K. shooting All You Need Is Kill (and supporting his 17-year-old son Connor at deejay gigs), arrived about 10 minutes before show time looking casual in a tight white T-shirt and jeans.

“I love the theater,” the recently divorced dad, joined by a posse of four men, told a fan when asked if he was looking forward to the performance.

Otherwise, the actor focused on the play and went largely unrecognized throughout the performance from his spot in the back of the Globe’s middle tier. He seemed to assume the role of the fan: At the end of the show, he was one of the first to leap to his feet to give the cast a standing ovation, and he remained standing for three curtain calls.

To cap off the night, Cruise and his party headed to the Swan at the Globe, where they enjoyed a sit-down meal and some cold drinks until 2 a.m., past the restaurant’s normal operating hours.

“We are on overtime now,” a staff member said. “They have ordered another round of beers.”

During his time in London, Cruise also met up with former flame Penélope Cruz and her husband Javier Bardem for dinner last week, along with Connor and Cameron Diaz. Says a source of Cruz and the actor: “They broke up amicably and remain good friends.”