Broadway theatre known as Broadway, refers to the theatrical performances presented in the 41 professional theatres, each with 500 or more seats located in the Theater District and Lincoln Center along Broadway, in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. Along with London's West End theatre, Broadway theatre is considered to represent the highest level of commercial theatre in the English-speaking world; the Theater District is a popular tourist attraction in New York City. According to The Broadway League, for the 2017–2018 season total attendance was 13,792,614 and Broadway shows had US$1,697,458,795 in grosses, with attendance up 3.9%, grosses up 17.1%, playing weeks up 2.8%. The majority of Broadway shows are musicals. Historian Martin Shefter argues that "'Broadway musicals', culminating in the productions of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein, became enormously influential forms of American popular culture" and contributed to making New York City the cultural capital of the Western Hemisphere.
New York did not have a significant theatre presence until about 1750, when actor-managers Walter Murray and Thomas Kean established a resident theatre company at the Theatre on Nassau Street, which held about 280 people. They presented Shakespeare ballad operas such as The Beggar's Opera. In 1752, William Hallam sent a company of twelve actors from Britain to the colonies with his brother Lewis as their manager, they established a theatre in Williamsburg and opened with The Merchant of Venice and The Anatomist. The company moved to New York in the summer of 1753, performing ballad operas and ballad-farces like Damon and Phillida; the Revolutionary War suspended theatre in New York, but thereafter theatre resumed in 1798, the year the 2,000-seat Park Theatre was built on Chatham Street. The Bowery Theatre opened followed by others. By the 1840s, P. T. Barnum was operating an entertainment complex in Lower Manhattan. In 1829, at Broadway and Prince Street, Niblo's Garden opened and soon became one of New York's premiere nightspots.
The 3,000-seat theatre presented all sorts of non-musical entertainments. In 1844, Palmo's Opera House opened and presented opera for only four seasons before bankruptcy led to its rebranding as a venue for plays under the name Burton's Theatre; the Astor Opera House opened in 1847. A riot broke out in 1849 when the lower-class patrons of the Bowery objected to what they perceived as snobbery by the upper class audiences at Astor Place: "After the Astor Place Riot of 1849, entertainment in New York City was divided along class lines: opera was chiefly for the upper middle and upper classes, minstrel shows and melodramas for the middle class, variety shows in concert saloons for men of the working class and the slumming middle class."The plays of William Shakespeare were performed on the Broadway stage during the period, most notably by American actor Edwin Booth, internationally known for his performance as Hamlet. Booth played the role for a famous 100 consecutive performances at the Winter Garden Theatre in 1865, would revive the role at his own Booth's Theatre.
Other renowned Shakespeareans who appeared in New York in this era were Henry Irving, Tommaso Salvini, Fanny Davenport, Charles Fechter. Theatre in New York moved from downtown to midtown beginning around 1850, seeking less expensive real estate. In the beginning of the 19th century, the area that now comprises the Theater District was owned by a handful of families and comprised a few farms. In 1836, Mayor Cornelius Lawrence opened 42nd Street and invited Manhattanites to "enjoy the pure clean air." Close to 60 years theatrical entrepreneur Oscar Hammerstein I built the iconic Victoria Theater on West 42nd Street. Broadway's first "long-run" musical was a 50-performance hit called The Elves in 1857. In 1870, the heart of Broadway was in Union Square, by the end of the century, many theatres were near Madison Square. Theatres did not arrive in the Times Square area until the early 1900s, the Broadway theatres did not consolidate there until a large number of theatres were built around the square in the 1920s and 1930s.
New York runs continued to lag far behind those in London, but Laura Keene's "musical burletta" The Seven Sisters shattered previous New York records with a run of 253 performances. It was at a performance by Keene's troupe of Our American Cousin in Washington, D. C. that Abraham Lincoln was shot. The first theatre piece that conforms to the modern conception of a musical, adding dance and original music that helped to tell the story, is considered to be The Black Crook, which premiered in New York on September 12, 1866; the production was five-and-a-half hours long, but despite its length, it ran for a record-breaking 474 performances. The same year, The Black Domino/Between You, Me and the Post was the first show to call itself a "musical comedy". Tony Pastor opened the first vaudeville theatre one block east of Union Square in 1881, where Lillian Russell performed. Comedians Edward Harrigan and Tony Hart produced and starred in musicals on Broadway between 1878 and 1890, with book and lyrics by Harrigan and music by his father-in-law David Braham.
These musical comedies featured characters and situations taken from the everyday life of New York's lower classes and represented a significant step forward from vaudeville and burlesque, towards a more literate form. They starred high quality singers, instead of the women of questionable repute who had starred in earlier m
Milan is a city in northern Italy, capital of Lombardy, the second-most populous city in Italy after Rome, with the city proper having a population of 1,372,810 while its metropolitan city has a population of 3,245,308. Its continuously built-up urban area has a population estimated to be about 5,270,000 over 1,891 square kilometres; the wider Milan metropolitan area, known as Greater Milan, is a polycentric metropolitan region that extends over central Lombardy and eastern Piedmont and which counts an estimated total population of 7.5 million, making it by far the largest metropolitan area in Italy and the 54th largest in the world. Milan served as capital of the Western Roman Empire from 286 to 402 and the Duchy of Milan during the medieval period and early modern age. Milan is considered a leading alpha global city, with strengths in the field of the art, design, entertainment, finance, media, services and tourism, its business district hosts Italy's stock exchange and the headquarters of national and international banks and companies.
In terms of GDP, it has the third-largest economy among European cities after Paris and London, but the fastest in growth among the three, is the wealthiest among European non-capital cities. Milan is considered part of the Blue Banana and one of the "Four Motors for Europe"; the city has been recognized as one of the world's four fashion capitals thanks to several international events and fairs, including Milan Fashion Week and the Milan Furniture Fair, which are among the world's biggest in terms of revenue and growth. It hosted the Universal Exposition in 1906 and 2015; the city hosts numerous cultural institutions and universities, with 11% of the national total enrolled students. Milan is the destination of 8 million overseas visitors every year, attracted by its museums and art galleries that boast some of the most important collections in the world, including major works by Leonardo da Vinci; the city is served by a large number of luxury hotels and is the fifth-most starred in the world by Michelin Guide.
The city is home to two of Europe's most successful football teams, A. C. Milan and F. C. Internazionale, one of Italy's main basketball teams, Olimpia Milano; the etymology of the name Milan remains uncertain. One theory holds that the Latin name Mediolanum planus. However, some scholars believe that lanum comes from the Celtic root lan, meaning an enclosure or demarcated territory in which Celtic communities used to build shrines. Hence Mediolanum could signify the central sanctuary of a Celtic tribe. Indeed, about sixty Gallo-Roman sites in France bore the name "Mediolanum", for example: Saintes and Évreux. In addition, another theory links the name to the boar sow an ancient emblem of the city, fancifully accounted for in Andrea Alciato's Emblemata, beneath a woodcut of the first raising of the city walls, where a boar is seen lifted from the excavation, the etymology of Mediolanum given as "half-wool", explained in Latin and in French; the foundation of Milan is credited to two Celtic peoples, the Bituriges and the Aedui, having as their emblems a ram and a boar.
Alciato credits Ambrose for his account. The Celtic Insubres, the inhabitants of the region of northern Italy called Insubria, appear to have founded Milan around 600 BC. According to the legend reported by Livy, the Gaulish king Ambicatus sent his nephew Bellovesus into northern Italy at the head of a party drawn from various Gaulish tribes; the Romans, led by consul Gnaeus Cornelius Scipio Calvus, fought the Insubres and captured the city in 222 BC. They conquered the entirety of the region, calling the new province "Cisalpine Gaul" – "Gaul this side of the Alps" – and may have given the site its Latinized Celtic name of Mediolanum: in Gaulish *medio- meant "middle, center" and the name element -lanon is the Celtic equivalent of Latin -planum "plain", thus *Mediolanon meant " in the midst of the plain". In 286 the Roman Emperor Diocletian moved the capital of the Western Roman Empire from Rome to Mediolanum. Diocletian himself chose to reside at Nicomedia in the Eastern Empire, leaving his colleague Maximian at Milan.
Maximian built several gigantic monuments, the large circus, the thermae or "Baths of Hercules", a large complex of imperial palaces and other services and buildings of which fewer visible traces remain. Maximian increased the city area surrounded by a new, larger stone wall encompassing an area of 375 acres with many 24-sided towers; the monumental area had twin towers. From Mediolanum the Emperor Constantine issued the Edict of Milan in 313 AD, granting tolerance to all religions within the Empire, thus paving the way for Christianity to become the dominant religion of Roman Europe. Constantine had come to Mediolanum to celebrate the wedding of his sister
Udine is a city and comune in north-eastern Italy, in the middle of the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region, between the Adriatic Sea and the Alps. Its population was 100,514 in 2012, 176,000 with the urban area. Udine was first attested in medieval Latin records as Udene in 983 and as Utinum around the year 1000; the origin of the name Udine is unclear. It has been tentatively suggested that the name may be of pre-Roman origin, connected with the Indo-European root *ou̯dh-'udder' used in a figurative sense to mean'hill'; the Slovene name Videm is a hypercorrection of the local Slovene name Vidan, based on settlements named Videm in Slovenia. The Slovene linguist Pavle Merkù characterized the Slovene form Videm as an "idiotic 19th-century hypercorrection." Udine is the historical capital of Friuli. The area has been inhabited since the Neolithic age, is believed to have been settled by Illyrians. Based on an old Hungarian legend, the leader of the Huns, built a hill there, when besieging Aquileia, because he needed a winter quarters billet: he instructed his soldiers to bring soil in their helmets and shields, because the landscape was too flat, without any hill.
He established the town there, built a square-shape tower. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the area increased in importance after the decline of Aquileia and afterwards of Cividale also. In AD 983 Udine was mentioned for the first time, with the donation of the Utinum castle by emperor Otto II to the Patriarchs of Aquileia the main feudal lords of the region. In 1223, with the foundation of the market, the city became the most important in the area for economy and trade, became the Patriarch's seat. In 1420, it was conquered by the Republic of Venice. In 1511, it was the seat of a short civil war, followed by an earthquake and a plague. Udine remained under Venetian control until 1797. After the short French domination which ensued, it was part of the Austrian-puppet Lombardy-Venetia Kingdom, was included in the newly formed Kingdom of Italy in 1866. During World War I, before the defeat in the battle of Caporetto, Udine became the seat of the Italian High Command and was nicknamed "Capitale della Guerra".
After the battle, it was occupied by the Germans in 1917 and Austrians in 1918 until after the Battle of Vittorio Veneto in 1918. After the war it was made capital of a short-lived province which included the current provinces of Gorizia and Udine. After September 8, 1943, when Italy surrendered to the Allies in World War II, the city was under direct German administration, which ceased in April 1945. Udine has a humid subtropical climate. Precipitation is abundant year round with fall being the wettest seasons; the highest temperature recorded was 38.2 °C on July 21, 2006 while the lowest temperature recorded was −18.6 °C on December 19, 2009. In 2007, there were 97,880 people residing in Udine itself, located in the province of Udine, Friuli Venezia Giulia, of whom 46.9% were male and 53.1% were female. Minors totalled 14.36 percent of the population compared to pensioners. This compares with the Italian average of 19.94 percent. The average age of Udine residents is 47 compared to the Italian average of 42.
In the five years between 2002 and 2007, the population of Udine grew by 1.48 percent, while Italy as a whole grew by 3.56 percent. The current birth rate of Udine is 9.13 births per 1,000 inhabitants compared to the Italian average of 9.45 births. The town and its nearby area have a Slovene population estimated at about 2,000. A 1475 document mentions Slovene as the language of the "lower class" in the town, the Udine Manuscript of 1458 contains Slovene vocabulary. Alasia da Sommaripa's Italian-Slovenian dictionary was printed in Udine in 1607. A chair for Slovene was established at the University of Udine in 1970; as of 2006, 90.90% of the population was of Italian descent. The largest immigrant group came from other European nations: 5.37%, followed by sub-saharan Africa: 1.65%, North African: 0.77%. The old residence of the patriarchs of Aquileia, the palazzo Patriarcale, was erected by Giovanni Fontana in 1517 in place of the older one destroyed by an earthquake in 1511. Under the Austrians it was used as a prison.
In the cathedral archives was preserved a recension of the Visigothic code of laws, called the Breviary of Alaric, in a manuscript known as the Codex Utinensis, printed before it was lost. In the 1550s, Andrea Palladio erected some buildings in Udine; the Oratorio della Purità has 18th-century frescoes by Giambattista Tiepolo and his son Giandomenico. The church dedicated to St. Mary of the Castle is the oldest in Udine, judging from extant fragments dating back to the Lombard era, it lost its parish status in 1263. It has been renovated many times over the centuries: the façade, for example, was rebuilt after the 1511 Idrija earthquake, its three naves preserve the suggestive atmosphere of silence and contemplation, found in old churches. The Venetian Governor, Tommaso Lippomano, commissioned the Venetian Gothic portico with steps and ramps leading down the hill in 1487. In the principal square stands the town hall built in 1448–1457 in the Venetian-G
Commedia dell'arte was an early form of professional theatre, originating from Italy, popular in Europe from the 16th to the 18th century. Commedia dell'arte is known as commedia alla maschera, commedia improvviso, commedia dell'arte all'improvviso. Commedia is a form of theatre characterized by masked "types" which began in Italy in the 16th century and was responsible for the advent of actresses and improvised performances based on sketches or scenarios. A commedia, such as The Tooth Puller, is both improvised. Characters' entrances and exits are scripted. A special characteristic of commedia dell'arte are the lazzi. A lazzo is a joke or "something foolish or witty" well known to the performers and to some extent a scripted routine. Another characteristic of commedia dell'arte is pantomime, used by the character Arlecchino; the characters of the commedia represent fixed social types and stock characters, such as foolish old men, devious servants, or military officers full of false bravado. The characters are exaggerated "real characters", such as a know-it-all doctor called Il Dottore, a greedy old man called Pantalone, or a perfect relationship like the Innamorati.
Many troupes were formed to perform commedia dell'arte, including I Gelosi, Confidenti Troupe, Desioi Troupe, Fedeli Troupe. Commedia dell'arte was performed outside on platforms or in popular areas such as a piazza; the form of theatre originated in Italy, but travelled throughout Europe and to Moscow. The commedia genesis may be related to carnival in Venice, where by 1570 the author/actor Andrea Calmo had created the character Il Magnifico, the precursor to the vecchio Pantalone. In the Flaminio Scala scenario for example, Il Magnifico persists and is interchangeable with Pantalone, into the seventeenth century. While Calmo's characters were not masked, it is uncertain at what point the characters donned the mask. However, the connection to carnival would suggest that masking was a convention of carnival and was applied at some point; the tradition in Northern Italy is centered in Mantua and Venice, where the major companies came under the aegis of the various dukes. Concomitantly, a Neapolitan tradition emerged in the south and featured the prominent stage figure Pulcinella.
Pulcinella has been long associated with Naples, derived into various types elsewhere—the most famous as the puppet character Punch in England. Although commedia dell'arte flourished in Italy during the Mannerist period, there has been a long-standing tradition of trying to establish historical antecedents in antiquity. While it is possible to detect formal similarities between the commedia dell'arte and earlier theatrical traditions, there is no way to establish certainty of origin; some date the origins to the period of the Empire. The Atellan Farces of the Roman Empire featured crude "types" wearing masks with grossly exaggerated features and an improvised plot; some historians argue that Atellan stock characters, Maccus+Buccus, Manducus, are the primitive versions of the Commedia characters Pantalone, il Capitano. More recent accounts establish links to the medieval jongleurs, prototypes from medieval moralities, such as Hellequin; the first recorded commedia dell'arte performances came from Rome as early as 1551.
Commedia dell'arte was performed outdoors in temporary venues by professional actors who were costumed and masked, as opposed to commedia erudita, which were written comedies, presented indoors by untrained and unmasked actors. This view may be somewhat romanticized since records describe the Gelosi performing Tasso's Aminta, for example, much was done at court rather than in the street. By the mid-16th century, specific troupes of commedia performers began to coalesce, by 1568 the Gelosi became a distinct company. In keeping with the tradition of the Italian Academies, I Gelosi adopted as their impress the two-faced Roman god Janus. Janus symbolized both the comings and goings of this traveling troupe, the dual nature of the actor who impersonates the "other." The Gelosi performed in Northern Italy and France where they received protection and patronage from the King of France. Despite fluctuations the Gelosi maintained stability for performances with the "usual ten": "two vecchi, four innamorati, two zanni, a captain and a servetta".
It should be noted that commedia performed inside in court theatres or halls, as some fixed theatres such as Teatro Baldrucca in Florence. Flaminio Scala, a minor performer in the Gelosi published the scenarios of the commedia dell'arte around the start of the 17th century in an effort to legitimize the form—and ensure its legacy; these scenari are structured and built around the symmetry of the various types in duet: two zanni, vecchi and inamorati, etc. In commedia dell'arte, female roles were played by women, documented as early as the 1560s. In the 1570s, English theatre critics denigrated the troupes with their female actors. By the end of the 1570s, Italian prelates attempted to ban female performers. T
Ulisse Cambi was an Italian sculptor active in Tuscany during the 19th century. Son of the sculptor Pietro Cambi, he was born in Florence where he attended the courses of the local Art High School and of the Accademia, his training as a sculptor went on in Rome. Back in Florence after a difficult professional period he managed to get into the artistic milieu of his city, he become professor at the Accademia, teaching sculpture and influencing several well-known Italian artists as Giovanni Dupré from Siena and Giorgio Ceragioli, active in Piemonte. From the 1840s on he realised several important artworks such as the statues of Benvenuto Cellini for the ground-floor courtyard of the Ufizzi, his funeral monuments, like the one devoted to the painter Giuseppe Sabatelli, where appreciated. He completed a monument to Francesco Burlamacchi for the Piazzale San Michele in Lucca. During his late days the prevailing realistic artistic movement made his neoclassical style becoming old-fashioned and turned away from him the favour of art criticism.
He had a studio at Viale Principe Eugenio #20 in Florence. He died in Florence in 1895 at the age of 87; the initial version of this article was based on a translation of its equivalent on the Italian Wikipedia, as retrieved on 2009-12-24
Feltre is a town and comune of the province of Belluno in Veneto, northern Italy. A hill town in the southern reaches of the province, it is located on the Stizzon River, about 4 kilometres from its junction with the Piave, 20 km southwest from Belluno; the Dolomites loom to the north of the town. An area incorporating Feltre and 12 contiguous municipalities is known as Feltrino. In 2014, the Feltrino area was formalised in the Unione Montana Feltrina, it was known in Roman times as Feltria and described as an oppidum by Pliny, who assigned its foundation to the Alpine tribe of the Rhaetians. The city obtained the status of municipium in 49 BC with its citizens inscribed into the Roman tribe of Menenia. In spite of its rigorous climate, which led a Roman author Caesar, to write: Feltria perpetuo niveum damnata rigore Atque mihi posthac haud adeunda, vale Feltria lay on a Roman road mentioned in the Antonine Itinerary as passing from Opitergium through Feltria to Tridentum. After the fall of the Western Empire, under which it had developed into a flourishing city, it became a Lombard dominion.
In the Middle Ages, it was ruled by Ezzelino da Romano, by the Camino family, by the Scaligeri of Verona, from 1315 to 1337. Feltre was subsequently under Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor, the da Carrara and the Visconti until 1404, together with Belluno, it was conquered by the Republic of Venice. In 1499 it received a new line of walls. In 1509 the center of the town was destroyed during battles between the Venetians and the League of Cambrai, rebuilt with a characteristic 16th-century style. In 1797, after the capitulation of Venice to Napoleon, it was ruled for some time by the French. Napoleon made his minister of war, Henri Jacques Guillaume Clarke, Duke of Feltre in 1807. After the Congress of Vienna, Feltre was assigned to the Austrian Empire, to which it remained until it was joined to the Kingdom of Italy in 1866, it was besieged by Austria during World War I. During World War II, Adolf Hitler demanded a meeting with Benito Mussolini to discuss his strategy for defending Italy from the Allied Armies since the Axis armies had just surrendered Tunis to the British Army, giving Allied Armies total control of North Africa.
This meeting took place on July 1943 in Feltre, Italy. Notable people of Feltre include printer Panfilo Castaldi, Friar Minor and founder of Monti di Pietà Blessed Bernardine of Feltre, humanist educator Vittorino da Feltre and painter Morto da Feltre. In 2017, Feltre was the second base for the BCC tour of Italy, used for the assault on Monte Grappa; the Cathedral, dedicated to St. Peter and rebuilt in Renaissance times, it has maintained from the preceding buildings the 14th-century campanile. The interior has works by some 17th-century wooden statues; the church is flanked by the 15th-century baptistry, housing a precious Medieval baptismal font from 1399. Under the cathedral is an excavated archaeological area of 1,000 m2 belonging to the ancient Roman city; the Imperial Gate, from which the Via Mezzaterra starts. This is faced by Casa Cantoni and Palazzo Muffoni. Palazzo Salce; the Palazzo della Ragione, the current Town Hall, with a Palladian style portico. It opens to the Piazza Maggiore, one of the most beautiful in the Veneto, with a fountain by Tullio Lombardo and a column surmounted by the Lion of St. Mark.
In the same piazza are Palazzo Guarnieri and a Baroque staircase leading to the church of St. Roch, flanked by the so-called "Castle of Alboin" with the Torre dell'Orologio', once part of the Roman defensive apparatus; the Castle's attribution to the Lombard king of Alboin has no historical evidence The Pinacoteca, in Palazzo Villabruna, has works by Morto da Feltre, Cima da Conegliano, Gentile Bellini, Pietro Marescalchi and others. The church and the monastery of Santa Maria degli Angeli, begun in 1492, but renovated in the 19th century, has maintained part of the ancient cloister, it houses a painting by Jacopo BassanoOutside the city are: The sanctuary of SS. Vittore e Corona, dedicated to Saints Victor and Corona, outside the city shows a mix of Byzantine and Renaissance styles, is home to some 14th-century Giottesque frescoes. Sculptures include the martyrium that houses the relics of the two Eastern saints and a small statue of St. Victor; the late Renaissance Villa Pasona stands on the site of the Castle of Pedavena, destroyed by Emperor Charles IV in 1350.
Anzù, Canal, Cellarda, Farra, Grum, Lasen, Nemeggio, Pren, Tomo, Vellai, Villabruna, Villapaiera, Zermen. Newbury, England Braunfels, Germany Carcaixent, Spain Eeklo, Belgium Bagnols-sur-Cèze, France Kiskunfélegyháza, Hungary Dudelange, Luxembourg Official website of the Palio of Feltre
West End theatre
West End theatre is a common term for mainstream professional theatre staged in the large theatres of "Theatreland" in and near the West End of London. Along with New York City's Broadway theatre, West End theatre is considered to represent the highest level of commercial theatre in the English-speaking world. Seeing a West End show is a common tourist activity in London. Society of London Theatre has announced that 2017 was a record year for the capital’s theatre industry with attendances topping 15,000,000 for the first time since the organization began collecting audience data in 1986. Box office revenues exceeded £700,000,000. Famous screen actors and international alike appear on the London stage. Theatre in London flourished after the English Reformation; the first permanent public playhouse, known as The Theatre, was constructed in 1576 in Shoreditch by James Burbage. It was soon joined by The Curtain. Both are known to have been used by William Shakespeare's company. In 1599, the timber from The Theatre was moved to Southwark, where it was used in building the Globe Theatre in a new theatre district formed beyond the controls of the City corporation.
These theatres were closed in 1642 due to the Puritans who would influence the interregnum of 1649. After the Restoration, two companies were licensed to perform, the Duke's Company and the King's Company. Performances were held in converted buildings, such as Lisle's Tennis Court; the first West End theatre, known as Theatre Royal in Bridges Street, was designed by Thomas Killigrew and built on the site of the present Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. It was destroyed by a fire nine years later, it was replaced by a new structure designed by Christopher Wren and renamed the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. Outside the West End, Sadler's Wells Theatre opened in Islington on 3 June 1683. Taking its name from founder Richard Sadler and monastic springs that were discovered on the property, it operated as a "Musick House", with performances of opera. In the West End, the Theatre Royal Haymarket opened on 29 December 1720 on a site north of its current location, the Royal Opera House opened in Covent Garden on 7 December 1732.
The Patent theatre companies retained their duopoly on drama well into the 19th century, all other theatres could perform only musical entertainments. By the early 19th century, music hall entertainments became popular, presenters found a loophole in the restrictions on non-patent theatres in the genre of melodrama. Melodrama did not break the Patent Acts; these entertainments were presented in large halls, attached to public houses, but purpose-built theatres began to appear in the East End at Shoreditch and Whitechapel. The West End theatre district became established with the opening of many small theatres and halls, including the Adelphi in The Strand on 17 November 1806. South of the River Thames, the Old Vic, Waterloo Road, opened on 11 May 1818; the expansion of the West End theatre district gained pace with the Theatres Act 1843, which relaxed the conditions for the performance of plays, The Strand gained another venue when the Vaudeville opened on 16 April 1870. The next few decades saw the opening of many new theatres in the West End.
The Criterion Theatre opened on Piccadilly Circus on 21 March 1874, in 1881, two more houses appeared: the Savoy Theatre in The Strand, built by Richard D'Oyly Carte to showcase the comic operas of Gilbert and Sullivan, opened on 10 October, five days the Comedy Theatre opened as the Royal Comedy Theatre on Panton Street in Leicester Square. It abbreviated its name three years later; the theatre building boom continued until about World War I. During the 1950s and 1960s, many plays were produced in theatre clubs, to evade the censorship exercised by the Lord Chamberlain's Office; the Theatres Act 1968 abolished censorship of the stage in the United Kingdom. "Theatreland", London's main theatre district, contains forty venues and is located in and near the heart of the West End of London. It is traditionally defined by The Strand to the south, Oxford Street to the north, Regent Street to the west, Kingsway to the east, but a few other nearby theatres are considered "West End" despite being outside the area proper.
Prominent theatre streets include Drury Lane, Shaftesbury Avenue, The Strand. The works staged are predominantly musicals and modern straight plays, comedy performances. Many theatres in the West End are of late Victorian or Edwardian construction and are owned. Many are architecturally impressive, the largest and best maintained feature grand neo-classical, Romanesque, or Victorian façades and luxurious, detailed interior design and decoration. However, owing to their age, leg room is cramped, audience facilities such as bars and toilets are much smaller than in modern theatres; the protected status of the buildings and their confined urban locations, combined with financial constraints, make it difficult to make substantial improvements to the level of comfort offered. In 2003, the Theatres Trust estimated that an investment of £250 million over the following 15 years was required for modernisation, stated that 60% of theatres had seats from which the stage was not visible; the theatre owners unsuccessfully requested tax concessions to help them meet the costs.
From 2004 onwards there were several incidents of falling plasterwork or performances being cancelled because of urgent building repairs being required. These events culminated in the partial