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West End in Watercolour

Today London is widely regarded as the theatrical epicentre of the English-speaking world, its ‘West End’ closely rivalled by New York’s Broadway, and provides a rich array of theatres, opera houses, concert halls and cinemas which, alongside the delights of restaurants, cafes, pubs, bars, nightclubs and shops, create a glitteringly exciting playground for the would-be theatregoer.

While John Higgins considers the West End and its fashionable rise from earlier beginnings, he also looks closely at the concurrent vigorous entertainment scene around the East End and neighbouring working-class suburbs, and their subsequent metamorphosis into the prolific operation that has today become the trendy Off-West-End London Fringe.

As the legacy of the West End provides a host of sumptuous purpose-built theatres the modern-day Fringe is housed in a numerous variety of locations, from pubs and shopping centres to railway arches and redundant chapels or factories, etc. Their value cannot be overstated: while some fringe venues are committed to providing their localities with cultural projects, events, performances and educational as well as tangible community-based facilities, many exist to produce new and cutting-edge theatrical experiences of excellence – a great number of which achieve a standard that is interchangeable with their West End contemporaries.

And so as the typical famous grand ‘Up West’ houses are paraded in their glittering surroundings of glamour and razzamatazz, their fascinating ‘Off-West’ counterparts have their own exciting tales to tell … and John says one thing is for sure: they have all been delicious to paint!   

This book is a large, square format coffee table-type publication.

Author: John Higgins
Publication Date: 29th June 2018
Book Format: Paperback
Price: £28.95

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