London Theatres book to feature 7 ATG venues

Launched on Thursday 7th September, the ‘London Theatres’ book by Michael Coveney & Peter Dazeley delivers a tour across the forty-six theatres which make London what it is, with stories of the architecture, the staging and the productions that have defined each one.

With a foreward by actor Mark Rylance, sumptuous and breathtaking photographs of the public areas, auditorium, and backstage areas, complete the picture.

Leading theatre critic Michael Coveney and photographer Peter Dazeley worked with staff across the seven featured ATG venues (Duke of York’s, The Lyceum Theatre, The Phoenix Theatre, The Playhouse Theatre, The Savoy Theatre, New Wimbledon Theatre and Richmond Theatre) to glean facts and images for the book and thank everyone involved in the process.

Michael and Peter gave us an exclusive insight into their favourite elements from our theatres prior to the launch:

Duke of York’s

P – The Equity agreement on the wall, which I think is pretty cool.

M – The Peter Pan exhibition in the stalls bar and the sub-stage wooden apparatus preserved since that first 1904 production.

The Lyceum Theatre

P – Love the candle holding, carved cherubs and figures on the out-swelling boxes.

M – The magnificent portico outside, the flamboyant plasterwork within.

The Phoenix Theatre

P – The wonderfully preserved Blood Brother’s cues on the fly floor.

M – The cream and gold corridor, with mirrors and posters, by the Stalls entrance.

The Playhouse Theatre

P – The brilliant thunder run and cannon balls, still in working order as demonstrated on my visit.

M – The great surprise of four Victorian lampposts at Circle level and the balustraded Balcony piercing the Shakespearean canvas on the wall.

The Savoy Theatre

P – Just love the wonderful art deco details, like the fire exit signs.

M – The silver-coffered Chinese panelling in the auditorium, the multi-coloured seating in the Stalls.

New Wimbledon Theatre

P – The painted brickwall with all the shows recorded for prosperity, plus the angel Laetitia removed during the second world war from the top of the Theatre to prevent the German Luftwaffe using it as a location finder directing them into London. I think also I was told they used to have red crocodile skin seats in the past.

M – The classical paintings and lolling muses surveying the vast auditorium from above the proscenium arch.

Richmond Theatre

P – I think without a doubt Frank Matcham’s greatest masterpiece. Plus, I’m amused that before his fame Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen restored the painted vestibule whilst working as assistant to theatre designer Carl Toms, as well as the iron.

M – Being welcomed outside the Theatre by Euterpe, muse of lyric poetry, with her lute.


‘London Theatres’ is available from 7 September and is published by Frances Lincoln.