London’s West End Theatres are just a part of London’s rich theatrical history, so where are the dives where you can engage with just a little more. ‘This film is a fun look at some of the theatres I have grown up visiting and working in’, says our main presenter Jean Heard. “But there is more. Where can you find, touch and smell the theatre life when visiting London?” When visiting London you need a plan or a theme, like visiting Rome, there is just so much to see, so if you chose theatre we are going to add a few places which are not technically theatres. The places the theatricals go.
London has always been a place for artists, playwrights and performers. Down alleyways, under the theatres, houses and shops you would find little drinking clubs and ‘speakeasys’ once the late night fodder of performers and writers. Now, such talent cannot afford to live in London and are seen running from the theatre to catch a late train out of London, or wheeling their bicycle from the stage door. The clubs are now more trendy, highly decorated and the place of bankers and traders. So where is the London theatre nightlife? Where do artists now go? Where can you see the stars apart from the theatres shown in the film, where are the clubs that have replaced McCready’s? McCreadys was an actors drinking club and when you joined, your membership card was a copy of the front door key, the rules were close the door when leaving. It is long gone. The Arts Club under the Phoenix (1 Phoenix St, London WC2H 8BU) still sees a gathering of musical performers and on Friday nights the pianist will lead a merry dance that engages those gathered and the fun goes on to the early hours, that is maybe the closest to McCreadys. The pubs near stage doors as you will see from the various films on Royal Mistresses still have their walls littered with signed pictures. At the posh end of artist gathering, you have Groucho’s and Soho House and the Central, and in the middle cost bracket the Curzon Cinema Club that over looks the road into Leicester Square. These are the places ‘they’ hide. However, a few weeks ago Danny DeVito, Woody Harrelson and Ron Howard were all found in the very trendy Alice House in Queens Park where many actors are regular as those who can afford it live in Queens Park and Uber home.
If you are visiting London, have a look at my Lillie Langtry film because that is a journey worth walking. It is also a visit to London’s oldest restaurant and it connects theatre to royalty. Rules Restaurant is one very special place you can go and have a drink at the bar and touch, feel and smell theatre life. As mentioned above, the other place is the Phoenix Theatre Arts Club under the Phoenix Theatre which normally lets in non members before the 8pm in the evening so if you are late say Doris Visits sent you and see if the blank face lifts. Be sure to say Doris Visits sent you, not Doris sent you, or you are a friend of Doris Visits, not a friend of Doris. The two sayings may have totally different implications.
If you are in sunny London, take a canal boat ride from Little Venice through the park and Regents Zoo which managed to re-open the day after its Christmas 2017 fire, to Camden. Or see Buckingham Palace. Enjoy London in the sun shine. If you book the Big Bus with us before 31st Dec 2017 Doris Visits has a code that works with our link, that gives you 12% off. BIGBUSTOURS12
Why not have a look at the LATE CRUISE DEALS over a coffee. Doris Visits allows you to SEE THE CRUISE BEFORE YOU CRUISE THE SEA. We have videos of many of the cruise stops you might make from Bequia to Rome (Angels and Demons), from St Petersburg to Pearl Harbour. Please follow us on Facebook and Twitter and share.