Archive for January, 2013

Guide to Queens Theatre in London Theatre District

The Queen’s Theatre is sure to be such a place, and you will probably be itching with questions as to what it is, and why it is that way.  This page is here to provide you with the information you need from the start, and so make your visit to the theatre all the more exciting, interesting, and above all, memorable.queens-theatre-1

The Queen’s Theatre is now more than a century old, having recently celebrated it’s 100th birthday in 2007.  It was created as one of a pair of venues by the architect W.G.R. Sprague, the other being the nearby Gielgud Theatre.  Though it now seems strange to imagine this wonderful building being called by any other name, the intended moniker for the venue was actually ‘Central Theatre’.

It opened with grand hopes on the 8th of October in 1907.  The first play to be shown there was by the now relatively unknown writer Madeline Lucette Ryley.  There is probably good reason why she is so anonymous these days: the main one being her play, ‘The Sugar Bowl’, was apparently quite awful.

However, despite this slightly shaky start, the theatre impressed it’s public from the get go.  This is a trend that has continued till today, mainly due to the Queen’s Theatre’s glorious interior decoration.  During you visit be sure to pay attention to the lavish surroundings that this fantastic venue boasts.

Perhaps the most dramatic moment in the theatre’s history was not it’s showcasing of such seminal talents as Kenneth Branagh, Fred Astaire, George Bernard Shaw or Laurence Olivier, but instead the destruction caused by the Luftwaffe during World War II.  The Queen’s theatre was unlucky enough to suffer damage from a stray German explosive in 1940, which took out it’s beautiful façade and front area.  It took two decades and a quarter of a million pounds to bring this wonderful venue back to life, with slight changes to the interior lobby.  Now fully restored and operational, it looks forward to welcoming you with open arms.

The premium seats are located in certain choice spots in the stalls and dress circle.  These will cost you £75.00 during the week, but rise to £85.00 for Friday and Saturday performances.  In the dress circle they compromise seats 7 – 18 in row C and seats 8 – 19 in row B.  In the stalls they compromise seats 12 – 19 in rows H – J, and seats 13 – 18 in row G.

The next most expensive seats will cost you £62.50, and compromise the majority of the stalls and dress circle.  In the latter they constitute the whole area, excepting the aforementioned premium seats, the whole of row L, and a number of seats towards the far two sides of rows A – C.  In the stalls the constitute all seats between rows B and Q, excepting the premium seats mentioned above.  They also compromise the majority of the seats in rows A, R, S and T.

The next most expensive seats cost £42.50.   In the dress circle they constitute all of row L, as well as certain seats at the far sides of rows A – C.  In the stalls they take up all of row U, as well as being located in certain positions in rows R – T and A.

The next best seats cost £32.50.  These constitute rows V – W in the stalls.  They are also compromised of central seats in rows G – J of the upper circle.  In the dress circle they consist of seats 3 – 8 and 28 – 34 in row A, as well as seats 1 – 3 in loge 1 and 2.

The next best seats cost £25.00. They are found in the upper circle in seats 5 – 20 in rows D – F, and seats 6 – 21 in rows A – C.

The next best seats cost £20.00, and are located throughout the theatre.  In the stalls they compromise all of row BB; in the dress circle they are constituted of seats 1 – 2 and 35 – 36 in row A; in the upper circle they take up the whole of rows K – L, as well as a few seats near the two sides.

The cheapest seats are worth £15.00, and are found only at the two far sides of rows A – J in the upper circle.

Other theatres in London we hope to cover include the Adelphi Theatre, Dominion Theatre, New London Theatre , Savoy Theatre

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The Poetry of Provence

dv1715205 When most Brits think of France, they’re bombarded with images of the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre- all the usual tourist traps. This focus on certain areas to the detriment of others has always struck me as regrettable. France is a big country- three times larger than the UK- and incredibly varied. Who knows what hidden treasures could be slipping beneath the radar?

One such jewel crying out for extra attention is Provence.

Provence is in southeastern France, adjacent to Italy. This location grants it not only stunning scenery but glorious weather- it has at least three hundred days of sun a year, making it a superb holiday destination. The region has an involved and fascinating history, taking in some of the earliest sites of human habitation, Provence’s last king Rene and notable revolutionaries. According to the Beyond website, the mediaeval city of Carcassonne is the most visited historical site in France.

If you thought the capital and more “urban” parts of the country had the monopoly on culture, think again. It was a continuing source of inspiration for many of France’s foremost artists and writers: Matisse, Renoir and Monet were all great admirers of its landscape and painted it extensively; while Colette, the doyenne of French literature, wasn’t from Provence originally, she headed a committee to restore it after the war. Nor does it slump when it comes to recent art forms. Two of French cinema’s best loved classics are based in Provence- Jean de Florette and its sequel, Manon de Sources. Indeed, the region is no stranger to the cinema, as this article in Marseille-Provence proves.

Provence stands out for the sheer range of activities on offer to the discerning tourist: Michelin starred restaurants, wine tasting in its celebrated vineyards, hiking and other activities for the sporty amongst you. It has one of the liveliest calendars in France, especially during the summer months- jazz lovers will be in heaven in July, when the Nice Jazz Festival’s in full swing! You won’t be stuck for places to take the kids, either; as well as some of the loveliest beaches on the French coastline, there’s a terrific water park in Frejus, guaranteeing fun for the whole family.

The area’s renowned for its hospitality. If you want to try some of the best holiday villas in France, why not try Affinity Villas, offering luxury holiday accommodation throughout the area? Whether you’re a small family or a large party of friends, they’ll provide the ideal solution, the great facilities including a pool!

So if you’re a Francophile looking to try somewhere slightly different- or a tourist searching for a location that combines marvellous views with some of the best attractions to be had, I heartily recommend Provence. You won’t be disappointed!

Lifes-tough-in-Provence

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