How to save London's theatreland? Actress Nichola McAuliffe has written an essay for The Independent that is so full of good, practical suggestions it might even produce some results. (Some time in the next 25 years, that is. There's no point expecting too much action from the powers-that-be.) Going to a play is usually an ordeal. McAuliffe wants to make life easier all round:
Restaurants could be adopted (ads in programmes in return for meal-deals; free bottle of house wine on production of tickets). Pubs could share the burden of interval drinks (profits negotiable). They could sound interval bells and allow the use of their bathrooms, allowing second acts to go up on time and women to enjoy them...
Bars and foyers should be open all day, not only providing for the public but also allowing performers to entertain in them. Lunchtime concerts and recitals would benefit the practitioners as well as the visitors. There should also be some rebate of the congestion charge for those wishing to come into the zone at
And so on. They're all great ideas, but I think Ms McAuliffe is forgetting that the West End's historic function is to rip off the general public and American tourists. Bad habits die hard.

|||Clive|||http://clivedavis.blogspot.com/2005/01/in-west-end-how-to-save-londons.html|||1/20/2005 02:16:00 pm|||||||||