Theatreland Tour with Ian McKellen

    Olt standard rgb
    17 May 2016
    Clock 50min      Length2mi
    Rating
    309 ratings
    Share

    William Shakespeare Statue

    William Shakespeare Statue
    Theatreland Tour with Ian McKellen

    Go and stand in front of the white statue of William Shakespeare.

    I’ve always thought it odd that the greatest playwright should stand in a square famous for its cinemas. Though when Shakespeare was around, of course, this area didn’t even have any theatres.

    [country idyll atmos.] Look around you. Five hundred years ago this was open countryside, a place where the inhabitants of nearby London grazed their cows and dried their laundry. The city’s theatres were all in Bankside, on the River Thames, outside London’s walls and its rules, and nobody wanted to live anywhere near a noisy theatre.

    There was no genteel applause, clapping back then. Theatre audiences were probably more like modern football crowds.

    [CROWD: Shakespeare!]

    And if they didn’t like the show, well, they let the actors know about it.

    [jeering, pelting fruit]

    This was the beginning of theatre's journey, before it arrived in the west end of London and long before acting was considered a respectable profession. During your performance today you’ll hear how all that changed, and you’ll meet some of the great names of Theatreland while you’re at it.

    So let's get going. Turn your back on the statue of Shakespeare. The Leicester Square Odeon Cinema should be on your right. It’s the imposing, black building with a great tower on it.

    And in front of you, there are two diagonal paths. One to the left and one to the right. You’re taking the one on the right, towards the Vue Cinema. Off you go!

Similar Audio Tours in London

Rachel poop 16compressed2
by The Loo Lady Erickson in London
12 Nov 2014
Ilya loo tour large 7

At Your Convenience: A Lavatorial Walking Tour

Distance 1.5mi
Duration 50min
12 ratings

Plunge yourself into the surprisingly dynamic world of the British Public Toilet. This tour takes you past some of London's most iconic views with a new twist.

Performed by Rachel Erickson (The Loo Lady), Music by Paul Freeman, Guest voices:... More»


Rachel poop 16compressed2
by The Loo Lady Erickson in London
25 Nov 2014
London school of hygiene and tropical medicine

At Your Convenience: History, Health and Hygiene

Distance 1mi
Duration 40min
1 rating

We take toilets (and most other sanitary fixtures) for granted... but there is nothing pre-ordained or natural about them. They reflect deeply ingrained cultural norms.
This walk through Bloomsbury dives into the history of toilets and how we... More»


Volicon
Locicon Gower Street
Bdc0
by Brian Cookson in London
19 Nov 2015
Tower bridge and the gherkin

Southwark: London's Historic Entertainment District

Distance 1mi
Duration 45min
16 ratings

On this walk we follow in the footsteps of Chaucer and Shakespeare across London Bridge to the south bank of the Thames. Here is the district of Southwark, which used to have a murky reputation, as it provided the entertainment, manufacture and... More»