The Society of London Theatre is bringing back its programme of Theatreland Walking Tours this summer.

Shaftesbury Avenue in LondonLed by veteran Blue Badge Guide and London author Diane Burstein, West End theatre fans will be able to discover the area’s historic theatrical past, taking in the sites of famous theatres along the way.

The tour starts south of the river in what was once the Capital’s main centre for music hall and variety. Discover how the Old Vic’s formidable manager Lilian Baylis bought Shakespeare and the classics to South London, before seeing the Young Vic and the National Theatre via some atmospheric Georgian backstreets. The walk then ventures across the Thames to Covent Garden, the heart of the West End’s Theatreland.

Featured sites in the Walking Tour include London’s oldest playhouse, the theatre which was once the home to actor and composer Ivor Novello, the theatre which played host to London’s shortest lived play and the site of the theatre where a bag of sweets gained you admission. The tour covers London’s theatrical history from court masques to the present day.

Tours are on a Sunday at 2.30pm and last two hours. Dates are 17 April, 22 and 29 May, 12 and 19 June, 3 and 10 July, 14 August and 11 and 25 September and tickets cost £9.50 each. Book by emailing walkingtours@solttma.co.uk or diane@secretlondonwalks.co.uk or calling 020 7557 6700.

LINKS

Diane Burstein’s website

SOLT website: Walking Tours