BWW Review: EVERYTHING YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT GOING TO THE THEATRE
The enigma that is West End Producer - or WEP to his friends - has released a second book, Everything You Always Wanted To Know About The Theatre (But Were Too Sloshed To Ask, Dear).
It documents the entire journey of seeing a show, from the decision-making and booking, right through to leaving the theatre after the production has finished. WEP is never far from a West End press night and his identity is probably the best-kept secret in London theatre.
His first book Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Acting (But Were Too Afraid To Ask, Dear) was a great success, but was written for a niche audience. WEP's publications are entirely relatable if you are in the industry and his current book is definitely for a broader audience than the first.
It still feels like some of the anecdotes would be lost on someone who is completely new to the theatre genre. It's more designed for those who already have the know-how, but want a giggle with WEP's brutally honest and truthful accounts of the booking and 'going to a show' process.
Going To The Theatre is extremely current - there are references from Brexit to Sarah Harding's well-documented performance in Ghost and Ria Jones taking over from Glenn Close in Sunset Boulevard. These are all brilliant for reading here and now, but in a few years time, will the book have as much relevance?
WEP covers what is acceptable to eat during the show, how to get to the bar and toilets quickly in the interval, and even how to publicly deal with a rubbish show ('shrubbish'). The sections on the history of musicals are very witty and the tour around Theatreland is actually very informative and educational!
WEP's book provides a laugh a minute with every page turn, but a serious tone is adopted frequently too - for example, when he applauds regional theatre and the people who make the shows happen backstage, in addition to the performers in sight.
West End Producer definitely has another hit on his hands, but read it now rather than in a year's time - his obsession with Craig Revel Horwood may not be as prevalent then!
The perfect stocking filler (along with a glass of Dom) for the theatregoer in your life.