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Read Excerpts from Troy David Johnston's 'Going Dark'

The new book features photographs of London's West End theatres during the pandemic.

Read Excerpts from Troy David Johnston's 'Going Dark' Just last month, Matcham Books released Troy David Johnston's Going Dark- a new book featuring a series of photographs that document the closure of theatres across the West End and Greater London during the 2020/21 Covid-19 pandemic. Click here to order it today!

BroadwayWorld shared some of those images in 2020, and now we are equally excited to bring you an exclusive first look at the book, including excerpts from its featured stars, as well as a note from Johnston himself.

Read Excerpts from Troy David Johnston's 'Going Dark' Going Dark is finally here.

Going Dark is more than just a photo book. It is a historical documentation of the London theatre industry shut down due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Over 160 images of 80 theatres, all displayed in stark black and white. Within each frame is a hint of colour, the prospect of future life.

After cycling over an eerily deserted Waterloo Bridge on 19th April 2020, I took my first image of a theatre closed during lockdown. It was of the Novello, home to Mamma Mia! I continued around the corner to the Duchess, where The Play That Goes Wrong had also shut its doors. On and on I cycled throughout the lockdown. More and more theatres joined the list. All closed due to the pandemic.

In these pages lies stories of how people received the news on 16th March 2020 - Dark Monday - that all these venues across Greater London were forced into darkness. There are stories of surviving the crisis, and yearning for the lights to go up once more. There are memories of what makes these buildings so special to us personally, of places that we call home, of how our lives have been enriched by them. All the voices contained within share in the grief of what has happened, the joy of once was, and the hope and possibility of what could be once more.

Of course, there are the amazing theatre stars and personalities who have all contributed a piece of commentary towards the book; Judi Dench, Stephen Schwartz, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Glenn Close, Harriet Walter, Laura Linney, Emma Thompson, Tim Minchin, Ian McKellen, Imedla Staunton, Tim Rice, Elaine Paige, Trevor Nunn, Clarke Peters, Stephen Daldry, Kerry Ellis, Alice Fearn, and many others. But you also get to hear from the people behind the scenes, and how this pandemic has impacted theirs lives; Producers, Stage Managers, Wardrobe staff, Lighting technicians, musicians, Sound designers and operators, Front of House managers, Srtage Door Keepers .... all the support staff and businesses that facilitate the operation of theatre on a day to day basis.

What makes this book unique is that it is the voice of an entire community. For a moment in time, this is our story.
I do hope that you treasure this book as much as I do.

-Troy David Johnston

Stephen Schwartz

It took me a while to feel the impact of theatres going dark. Never having experienced a time in my life when there was no theatre, I was unprepared for my deep feeling of loss and my increasingly intense longing to experience again the exhilarating energy of attending a live performance surrounded by fellow theatregoers. I know I'll never take that for granted again!

Read Excerpts from Troy David Johnston's 'Going Dark'

Laura Linney

I was born in New York and have lived there my entire life. New York never shuts down for anything. Broadway never shuts down for ANYTHING. I have performed during hurricanes and blizzards, illness and the death of friends and family. So, as the reality began to sink in... my mind started to race around, and I thought of the Bridge Theatre. It is one of my favorite places on earth.

Read Excerpts from Troy David Johnston's 'Going Dark'

Elaine Paige

The Prince Edward Theatre holds so many fond memories for me. I played three consecutive shows there: Evita, Chess and Anything Goes - and that obviously meant that I spent a lot of time in this theatre. It became my second home - and I would design 'a look' for my dressing room for every production in order to turn it into my absolute haven. It feels like my whole life is engrained in the very fabric of the Prince Edward Theatre. Let's hope it's not too long before the dark turns to light, and art, music, and audiences all return to this magical building that I so cherish.

Read Excerpts from Troy David Johnston's 'Going Dark'

Andrew Lloyd Webber

Now the vaccine rollout is 'ticking up', I'm pretty confident that everything is going to be much, much better. We must continue to make our buildings as hygienic and safe as possible to complement everything else that's happening. I feel pretty certain we'll be able to open the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane by the Summer - you just have to keep hoping. We've all got to double our efforts and not take our eye off the ball. We all need a pick- me-up.

Read Excerpts from Troy David Johnston's 'Going Dark'

Kerry Ellis

Lockdown has been a mix of emotions and challenges, to watch our wonderful industry fade away has been devastating, to not be able to perform has been like losing a limb. BUT like the community we are, we will come back stronger and I can't wait until that happens. It's been terribly sad seeing all these iconic theatres go dark for so long, knowing the magic and beauty they provide but I can't wait to see what we do when this is over, and our industry and theatres come back to life and thrive.

Read Excerpts from Troy David Johnston's 'Going Dark'

Glenn Close

Simply put, the London Coliseum was the most thrilling theatre in which I have ever played. It seemed impossibly immense when I first walked out onto the empty stage sometime in early March 2016. We had started studio rehearsals for a revival of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Sunset Boulevard. While I tried to not feel monstrously intimidated, I was informed that there are very few seats that didn't have a good view of the stage. I was also told that, even though it is a vast auditorium, it feels amazingly intimate from the stage. Playing The Coliseum was the thrill of a lifetime.

Read Excerpts from Troy David Johnston's 'Going Dark'

Willemijn Verkaik

For us Dutch Musical Theatre actors, performing in the West End is the ultimate goal. Something you look up to and never expect to achieve. So, stepping foot on the Apollo Victoria stage for the first time, realising I was going to play the leading role in this extraordinary and successful show, was thrilling. Making people happy and giving them an unforgettable theatre experience is almost addictive. The West End will light up again very soon with theatres opening their doors both to the hungry theatre- loving audiences and to all of us - whether that is front, back, side, below or on-stage. And we will be there. It is what we do. It is who we are.

Read Excerpts from Troy David Johnston's 'Going Dark'

Ian McKellen

I first visited The National Theatre before its roof was on, so that the Olivier space was a modern open-air Greek auditorium. Denys Lasdun's handsome exterior is a worthy addition to the other cultural palaces on the South Bank but of course only fulfils its purpose when thronged with audiences and others strolling along the river walkway. Post-lockdown, it'll be lovely to welcome everyone back.

Read Excerpts from Troy David Johnston's 'Going Dark'

Tim Rice

The one creative group who cannot claim their work has been halted are the nation's writers. Let us hope they have been doing their stuff so when the city's outstanding performers are able to give their all again there is a surfeit of brilliant words, music and story for them to portray.

Read Excerpts from Troy David Johnston's 'Going Dark'

Click here to order Going Dark today!

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