Wimbledon is a district and town of south-west London, England, 7.1 miles south-west of the centre of London at Charing Cross, in the London Borough of Merton, south of Wandsworth, north-east of New Malden, north-west of Mitcham, west of Streatham and north of Sutton. Wimbledon had a population of 68,187 in 2011 which includes the electoral wards of Abbey, Hillside, Village, Raynes Park and Wimbledon Park, it is home to the Wimbledon Tennis Championships and New Wimbledon Theatre, contains Wimbledon Common, one of the largest areas of common land in London along with a Wimbledon Tennis Club. The residential and retail area is split into two sections known as the "village" and the "town", with the High Street being the rebuilding of the original medieval village, the "town" having first developed after the building of the railway station in 1838. Wimbledon has been inhabited since at least the Iron Age when the hill fort on Wimbledon Common is thought to have been constructed. In 1087 when the Domesday Book was compiled, Wimbledon was part of the manor of Mortlake.
The ownership of the manor of Wimbledon changed between various wealthy families many times during its history, the area attracted other wealthy families who built large houses such as Eagle House, Wimbledon Manor House and Warren House. The village developed with a stable rural population coexisting with nobility and wealthy merchants from the city. In the 18th century the Dog and Fox public house became a stop on the stagecoach run from London to Portsmouth in 1838 the London and South Western Railway opened a station to the south-east of the village at the bottom of Wimbledon Hill; the location of the station shifted the focus of the town's subsequent growth away from the original village centre. Wimbledon had its own borough larger than its historic boundaries while still in the county of Surrey. Since 2005, the north and west of the borough have been represented in Westminster by Stephen Hammond, a Conservative MP; the east and south of the Borough are represented by Siobhain McDonagh, a Labour MP.
Wimbledon has established minority groups. Wimbledon, a small farming locality in New Zealand, was named after this district in the 1880s after a local resident shot a bullock from a considerable distance away; the shot was considered by onlookers to be worthy of the rifle-shooting championships held in Wimbledon at the time. Wimbledon has been inhabited since at least the Iron Age when the hill fort on Wimbledon Common, the second-largest in London, is thought to have been constructed; the original nucleus of Wimbledon was at the top of the hill close to the common – the area now known locally as "the village". The village is referred to as "Wimbedounyng" in a charter signed by King Edgar the Peaceful in 967; the name Wimbledon means "Wynnman's hill", with the final element of the name being the Celtic "dun". The name is shown on J. Cary's 1786 map of the London area as "Wimbleton", the current spelling appears to have been settled on recently in the early 19th century, the last in a long line of variations.
At the time the Domesday Book was compiled, Wimbledon was part of the manor of Mortlake, so was not recorded. The ownership of the manor of Wimbledon changed hands many times during its history; the manor was held by the church until 1398 when Thomas Arundel, Archbishop of Canterbury fell out of favour with Richard II and was exiled. The manor became crown property; the manor remained crown property until the reign of Henry VIII when it was granted to Thomas Cromwell, Earl of Essex, until Cromwell was executed in 1540 and the land was again confiscated. The manor was next held by Henry VIII's last wife and widow Catherine Parr until her death in 1548 when it again reverted to the monarch. In the 1550s, Henry's daughter, Mary I, granted the manor to Cardinal Reginald Pole who held it until his death in 1558 when it once again become royal property. Mary's sister, Elizabeth I held the property until 1574, when she gave the manor house to Christopher Hatton, who sold it in the same year to Sir Thomas Cecil, Earl of Exeter.
The lands of the manor were given to the Cecil family in 1588 and a new manor house, Wimbledon Palace, was constructed and gardens laid out in the formal Elizabethan style. Wimbledon's proximity to the capital was beginning to attract other wealthy families. In 1613 Robert Bell, Master of the Worshipful Company of Girdlers and a director of the British East India Company built Eagle House as a home at an easy distance from London; the Cecil family retained the manor for fifty years, before it was bought by Charles I in 1638 for his Queen, Henrietta Maria. Following the King's execution in 1649, the manor passed among various parliamentarian owners, including the Leeds MP Adam Baynes and the civil war general John Lambert, but after the restoration of the monarchy in 1660, it was returned to Henrietta Maria; the Dowager Queen sold the manor in 1661 to George Digby, Earl of Bristol, who employed John Evelyn to improve and update the landscape in accordance with the latest fashions, including grottos and fountains.
On his death in 1677, the manor was sold again to the Lord High Treasurer, Thomas Osborne, Earl of Danby. The Osborne family sold the manor to Sir Theodore Janssen in 1712. Janssen, a director of the South Sea Company, began a new house to replace the one built by the Cecils, but the spectacular collapse of the company meant it was never finished; the next owner was Sarah Church
Theatre Royal Haymarket
The Theatre Royal Haymarket is a West End theatre on Haymarket in the City of Westminster which dates back to 1720, making it the third-oldest London playhouse still in use. Samuel Foote acquired the lease in 1747, in 1766 he gained a royal patent to play legitimate drama in the summer months; the original building was a little further north in the same street. It has been at its current location since 1821, it is a Grade I listed building, with a seating capacity of 888. The freehold of the theatre is owned by the Crown Estate; the Haymarket has been the site of a significant innovation in theatre. In 1873, it was the venue for the first scheduled matinée performance, establishing a custom soon followed in theatres everywhere, its managers have included Benjamin Nottingham Webster, John Baldwin Buckstone, Squire Bancroft, Cyril Maude, Herbert Beerbohm Tree, John Sleeper Clarke, brother-in-law of John Wilkes Booth, who quit America after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Famous actors who débuted at the theatre included John Liston.
The First Haymarket Theatre or Little Theatre was built in 1720 by John Potter, carpenter, on the site of The King's Head Inn in the Haymarket and a shop in Suffolk Street kept by Isaac Bliburgh, a gunsmith, known by the sign of the Cannon and Musket. It was the third public theatre opened in the West End; the theatre cost £1000 to build, with a further £500 expended on decorations and costumes. It opened on 29 December 1720, with a French play La Fille a la Morte, ou le Badeaut de Paris performed by a company known as'The French Comedians of His Grace the Duke of Montague'. Potter's speculation was known as The New French Theatre; the theatre's first major success was a 1729 production of a play by Samuel Johnson of Cheshire, Hurlothrumbo, or The Supernatural, which ran for 30 nights – not as long as John Gay's The Beggar's Opera, but still a long run for the time. In 1730, the theatre was taken over by an English company, its name changed to the'Little Theatre in the Haymarket'. Among the actors who appeared there before 1737 when the theatre was closed under the Licensing Act 1737 were Aaron Hill, Theophilus Cibber, Henry Fielding.
In the eight to ten years before the Act was passed, the Haymarket was an alternative to John Rich's Theatre Royal, Covent Garden and the opera-dominated Drury Lane Theatre. Fielding himself was responsible for the instigation of the Act, having produced a play called The Historical Register that parodied prime minister Robert Walpole, as the caricature, Quidam. In particular, it was an alternative to the pantomime and special-effects dominated stages, it presented opposition satire. Henry Fielding staged his plays at the Haymarket, so did Henry Carey. Hurlothrumbo was just one of his plays in that series of anti-Walpolean satires, followed by Tom Thumb. Another, in 1734, was The Dragon of Wantley, with music by John Frederick Lampe; this work punctured the vacuous operatic conventions and pointed a satirical barb at Walpole and his taxation policies. The piece was a huge success, with a record-setting run of 69 performances in its first season; the work debuted at the Haymarket Theatre, where its coded attack on Walpole would have been clear, but its long run occurred after it moved to Covent Garden, which had a much greater capacity for staging.
The burlesque itself is brief on the page, as it relied extensively on absurd theatrics and other non-textual entertainments. The Musical Entertainer from 1739 contains engravings showing. Carey continued with others. Additionally, refugees from Drury Lane's and Covent Garden's internal struggles would show up at the Haymarket, thus Charlotte Charke would act there in a parody of her father, Colley Cibber, one of the owners and managers of Drury Lane; the Theatrical Licensing Act, put an end to the anti-ministry satires, it all but shut down the theatre. From 1741 to 1747, Charles Macklin, Samuel Foote, others sometimes produced plays there either by use of a temporary licence or by subterfuge; the conjuror's publicity claimed that, while on stage, he would place his body inside an empty wine bottle, in full view of the audience. When the advertised act failed to appear on stage, the audience gutted the theatre. Although the identity of the hoax's perpetrator is unknown, several authors consider John Montagu, 2nd Duke of Montagu, to have been responsible.
In 1754, John Potter, rated for the theatre since its opening, was succeeded by John Whitehead. In 1758 Theophilus Cibber obtained from William Howard the Lord Chamberlain, a general licence under which Foote tried to establish the Haymarket as a regular theatre. With the aid of the Duke of York he procured a royal licence to exhibit plays during four months in each year from May to September during his lifetime, he bought the lease of the theatre from Potter's executors and, having added to the site by purchasing adjoining property, he enlarged and improved the building which he opened on 14 May 1767, as the Theatre Royal, the third patent theatre in London. Several successful seasons followed, with Foote producing numerous plays at the theatre, but Foote got himself into difficulties by his custom
The Rivals is a comedy of manners by Richard Brinsley Sheridan in five acts, first performed at Covent Garden Theatre on 17 January 1775. The story has been updated in numerous adaptions, including a 1935 musical in London and a 1958 episode of the television series Maverick, with attribution; the Rivals was Sheridan's first play. At the time, he was a young newlywed living in Bath. At Sheridan's insistence, upon marriage his wife Eliza had given up her career as a singer; this was proper for the wife of a "gentleman", but it was difficult because Eliza would have earned a substantial income as a performer. Instead, the Sheridans lived beyond their means as they entertained the gentry and nobility with Eliza's singing and Richard's wit. In need of funds, Richard turned to the only craft that could gain him the remuneration he desired in a short time: he began writing a play, he had over the years written and published essays and poems, among his papers were numerous unfinished plays and political tracts, but never had he undertaken such an ambitious project as this.
In a short time, however, he completed The Rivals. The Rivals was first performed at Covent Garden, London, on 17 January 1775, with comedian Mary Bulkley as Julia Melville, it was roundly vilified by both the public and the critics for its length, for its bawdiness and for the character of Sir Lucius O'Trigger being a meanly written role played badly. The actor, after being hit with an apple during the performance and addressed the audience, asking "By the pow'rs, is it personal? — is it me, or the matter?" It was both. Sheridan withdrew the play and in the next 11 days, rewrote the original extensively, including a new preface in which he allowed: For my own part, I see no reason why the author of a play should not regard a first night's audience as a candid and judicious friend attending, in behalf of the public, at his last rehearsal. If he can dispense with flattery, he is sure at least of sincerity, though the annotation be rude, he may rely upon the justness of the comment. Sheridan apologised for any impression that O'Trigger was intended as an insult to Ireland.
Rewritten and with a new actor, Clinch, in the role of O'Trigger, the play reopened on 28 January to significant acclaim. Indeed, it became a favourite of the royal family, receiving five command performances in ten years, in the Colonies, it became a standard show in the repertoires of 19th-century companies in England and the US. The play is now considered to be one of Sheridan's masterpieces, the term malapropism was coined in reference to one of the characters in the play, she was first played by Jane Green. Sir Anthony Absolute, a wealthy baronet Captain Jack Absolute, his son, disguised as Ensign Beverley Faulkland, friend of Jack Absolute Bob Acres, friend of Jack Absolute Sir Lucius O'Trigger, an Irish baronet Fag, Captain Absolute's servant David, Bob Acres' servant Thomas, Sir Anthony's servant Lydia Languish, a wealthy teenaged heiress, in love with "Ensign Beverley" Mrs. Malaprop, Lydia's middle-aged guardian Julia Melville, a young relation of the Absolutes, in love with Faulkland Lucy, Lydia's conniving maid The play is set in 18th-century Bath, a town, legendary for conspicuous consumption and fashion at the time.
Wealthy, fashionable people went there to "take the waters", which were believed to have healing properties. Bath society was much less exclusive than London, hence it provides an ideal setting for the characters; the plot centres on the two young lovers and Jack. Lydia, who reads a lot of popular novels of the time, wants a purely romantic love affair. To court her, Jack pretends to be a poor army officer. Lydia is enthralled with the idea of eloping with a poor soldier in spite of the objections of her guardian, Mrs. Malaprop, a moralistic widow. Mrs. Malaprop is the chief comic figure of the play, thanks to her continual misuse of words that sound like the words she intends to use, but mean something different. Lydia has two other suitors: Bob Acres, Sir Lucius O'Trigger, an impoverished and combative Irish gentleman. Sir Lucius pays Lucy to carry love notes between him and Lydia, but Lucy is swindling him: "Delia" is Mrs. Malaprop; as the play opens, Sir Anthony arrives in Bath. He has arranged a marriage for Jack.
They quarrel violently. But Jack soon learns through the gossip of Lucy and Fag that the marriage arranged by Sir Anthony is, in fact, with Lydia, he makes a great show of submission to his father, is presented to Lydia with Mrs. Malaprop's blessing. Jack confides to Lydia, she annoys Mrs. Malaprop by loudly professing her eternal devotion to "Beverley" while rejecting "Jack Absolute". Jack's friend Faulkland is in love with Julia, he is fretting himself about her fidelity. Faulkland and Julia quarrel foolishly, making elaborate and high-flown speeches about true love that satirise the romantic dramas of the period. Bob Acres tells Sir Lucius. Sir Lucius declares that Acres must challenge "Beverley" to a duel and kill him. Acres goes along, writes out a challenge note – despite his own rather more pacifist feelings, the profound misgivings of his servant David. Sir Lucius leaves, Jack arrives, Acres tells him of his intent. Jac
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
Matlock is the county town of Derbyshire, England. It is situated at the south eastern part of the Peak District, with the National Park directly to the west; the town is twinned with the French town Eaubonne. The former spa resort Matlock Bath lies south of the town on the A6; the civil parish of Matlock Town had a population in the 2011 UK census of 9,543. The population of the wider Matlock urban area is 20,000; the Matlock area is considered owing to the close proximity of the towns. Matlock is nine miles south-west of Chesterfield, in easy reach of the cities of Derby and Nottingham. Matlock is within the Derbyshire Dales district, which includes the towns of Bakewell and Ashbourne, as well as Wirksworth; the headquarters of Derbyshire County Council are in the town. The name Matlock derives from the Old English mæthel, meaning assembly or speech, āc, meaning oak tree. In the Domesday Book of 1086 it was recorded as Meslach and in 1196 it was named Matlac, it is a former spa town that lies on the River Derwent, has prospered from both the hydrotherapy industry and the cloth mills constructed on the river and its tributary Bentley Brook.
It was a inconspicuous collection of villages in Wirksworth Hundred — composed of Matlock Town, Matlock Green, Matlock Bridge, Matlock Bank — until thermal springs were discovered in 1698. The population increased in the 1800s because of the popular hydros which were being built. At one stage there were around twenty hydros on Matlock Bank, the largest built in 1853 by John Smedley; this closed in 1955, re-opened in 1956 as the headquarters of the Derbyshire County Council. Matlock is home to the Derbyshire Dales District Council as well as Matlock Town council. Matlock has a town council, the lowest tier of local government; the Council meets twice a month. There are 11 Councillors who cover 9 members of staff. Matlock Town Council's jurisdiction extends covers the Town Centre, Matlock Bank, Hurst Farm, Matlock Green, Matlock Town and Riber; the second tier of local government is Derbyshire Dales District Council which covers a third of the rural parts of the County, including the towns of Matlock, Bakewell and Darley Dale and over 100 villages.
The Council has 39 District Councillors elected in 25 wards. Matlock is represented by 6 councillors in the two wards Matlock St Giles; the top tier of local government is Derbyshire County Council that has responsibilities for the whole of Derbyshire apart from the City of Derby. Matlock is represented by one county councillor; the main offices of all three tiers of local government are sited in Matlock. The Town Council is situated in the Imperial Rooms close to the bottom of Bank Road, the District Council is halfway up Bank Road and the County Council is at the top; as regards national democracy, Matlock forms part of the Derbyshire Dales. The MP is Patrick McLoughlin, he has held the seat for the Conservative Party since 1986. The main physical features of the Matlock area are the watercourses; the height of the town varies from 91m at Causeway Lane to 203m at the top of Wellington Street. Matlock is overlooked by Riber Castle at 260m from the south-east and by Masson Hill at 339m from the south-west.
The first human settlement in the area was in what is now known as Matlock Green. This was; when the town grew in the late 19th century, the town spread up the steep hillsides to the north-east of the narrow valley bottom. Various industries made use of the natural features: The underlying bedrocks were quarried and mined; the watercourses were harnessed to power corn and other mills. The hillside thermal spring water gave rise to the hydros; the natural features constrained transport links: In the Derwent gorge below High Tor, the present-day A6 was squeezed in beside the river. From the south, the Midland Railway reached Matlock Station via a series of short tunnels constructed under the limestone of the gorge. A cable tramway was constructed to tackle the steep Bank Road; the geology of the Matlock area is complex. Broadly speaking, the Derwent valley bottom forms a boundary between the sandstones and gritstones of the Dark Peak to the NE and the limestones of the White Peak to the SW. There are igneous intrusions into the limestones to the SW.
This geology has been exploited by the mining industries. The sandstones and gritstones have been quarried as building materials and the limestones for building materials and the manufacture of lime; the igneous intrusions gave rise to valuable minerals which have been mined for lead. A rare lead halide mineral called Matlockite was first discovered at nearby Bage Mine in the early 1800s, is named after the town; the route of the River Derwent downstream of Matlock is interesting to geologists in that it appears to have cut its way through a limestone gorge below High Tor, rather than follow the "simpler" way to the east. It is thought that landslips and/or glaciation may have had an influence over how the present route of the river was established; the a
Balham is an affluent neighbourhood in south London, England, in the London Borough of Wandsworth. The area appears in the Domesday Book as Belgeham. Today it has a thriving shopping area and a diverse population, as well as good travel connections across London via its London Underground station; the settlement appears in the Domesday Book as Belgeham. Bal refers to ` rounded enclosure' and ham to a village or river enclosure, it was held by Geoffrey Orlateile. Its Domesday Assets were: 8 acres of meadow, it rendered: £2. The Balham area has been settled since Saxon times. Balham Hill and Balham High Road follow the line of the Roman road Stane Street to Chichester –. Balham is recorded in several maps in the 1600s as Balham Manor; the village was within the parish of Streatham. Large country retreats for the affluent classes were built there in the 18th century. On 14 October 1940 Balham Underground station was badly damaged by air raids on London during World War II. People took shelter in the tube station during the raids.
A bomb fell in the High Road and through the roof of the Underground station below, bursting water and gas mains and killing around 64 people. This particular incident was featured in a 2001 novel by Ian McEwan. An image of the aftermath is of the No. 88 bus. On the morning of 17 July 1974 a bomb planted by the Provisional IRA exploded near government buildings in Balham, causing substantial damage to buildings; that day the group detonated a fatal attack on the Tower of London. Balham is in encompasses the A24 north of Tooting Bec and the roads radiating off it; the Balham SW12 postcode includes the southern part of Clapham Park otherwise known as Clapham South and the Hyde Farm area, both east of Cavendish Road and within Lambeth as well as a small detached part of Clapham south of Nightingale Lane, part of Battersea. The southern part of Balham, towards Tooting Bec, near the 1930s block of Art Deco flats called Du Cane Court and the area to the south of Wandsworth Common, comes under the SW17 postcode.
The Heaver Estate lies to the south of Balham in Tooting. The Estate comprises substantial houses, was built in the grounds of the old Bedford Hill House and was the work of local Victorian builder, Alfred Heaver. Balham is situated between four south London commons: Clapham Common to the north, Wandsworth Common to the west, Tooting Graveney Common to the south, the adjoining Tooting Bec Common to the east – the latter two distinct areas are referred to by both Wandsworth Council and some local people as Tooting Common. Other nearby areas include Tooting, Brixton, Wandsworth Common, Clapham South or the southern part of Clapham Park. Balham's town centre has a variety of bars and shops including major chains. There are local services, including independent stores, coffee houses and brasseries. There are two car parks serving the vicinity, one behind the Sainsbury's and one in front of Waitrose. Balham is diverse both in terms of economic and cultural demographics with an professional middle class population.
The Polish population in Balham has hugely increased since 2006, though Balham has been one of the centres of the community in London since World War II. The White Eagle Club is a thriving Polish community centre, its traditional Saturday night dance draws people from across London. Opposite the White Eagle is The Polish Roman Catholic Church of Christ the King; the Irish, Somali and Brazilian communities are well represented. The Bedford is a pub venue for live comedy on Bedford Hill. Performers at the Banana Cabaret have included Stephen K Amos, Omid Djalili, Harry Hill, Eddie Izzard, Al Murray and Catherine Tate; the pub has won various awards including the Publican Music Pub of the Year 2002. In 1876, the pub building housed the coroner's inquest into the notorious unsolved murder of Charles Bravo, a resident and lawyer, poisoned by his wife; the Priory, where the alleged murder took place, is a landmark noted for the specific architectural style. The Bedford Hill area of Balham was associated with street prostitution throughout the 1970s and'80s.
The problem has since been eradicated. Du Cane Court was the largest block of flats in Europe built for private occupation rather than as social housing at the time, its 676 flats range from studios up to 4-bedroom penthouses. The block has had a number of notable residents, including comedian Tommy Trinder and actress Dame Margaret Rutherford. Scenes from Agatha Christie's Poirot were filmed in the building. Oak Lodge School is a secondary school for deaf children located in the Balham area, it accepts pupils from all over London. Balham has its own leisure centre; the UK's first pedestrian diagonal X-crossing was pioneered at the intersection with Balham High Road, Balham Station Road, Chestnut Grove in 2005. This was adopted at Oxford Circus in 2009, the second X-crossing in the UK; the world's first "intelligent" pedestrian crossings have been trialled at Balham station. Balham station is an interchange between rail and Underground services, in London fare zone 3; the stations connect Balham to both the City of the West End.
Balham is one of the u
ODEON Covent Garden is a four-screen cinema in the heart of London's West End. Known as The Saville Theatre, a former West End theatre at 135 Shaftesbury Avenue in the London Borough of Camden; the theatre opened in 1931, became a music venue during the 1960s. In 1970 it became the two cinemas ABC1 Shaftesbury Avenue and ABC2 Shaftesbury Avenue, which in 2001 were converted to the four-screen cinema Odeon Covent Garden; the theatre was designed by the architect Sir Thomas Bennett, in consultation with Bertie Crewe, opened on 8 October 1931, with a play with music by H. F. Maltby, For The Love Of Mike; the theatre benefited from a capacity of 1,426 on three levels and a stage, 31.5 feet wide, with a depth of 30.5 feet. The interior was opulent, The Stage reviewed the new theatre on its openingThe stalls bar and saloon lounge adjoining, will please the public, special care has been exercised in their equipment and decoration; the bar, which has mural paintings by Mr A. R. Thompson, is 18 ft by 54 ft in front of the counters, while the lounge, decorated by the same artist, is 42 ft by 40 ft.
There is a sort of shopping arcade in and about the lounge, as in the up-to-date hotels, it is quite big enough for tea dances or concerts. So comfortable, are the lounge and the bar at the Saville, that it is to be feared that something more than a warning bell will be necessary to clear them The theatre was damaged by bombing in 1941, but reopened allowing Up and Running by Firth Shephard to complete a run of 603 performances. In 1955, the interior was refurbished by Laurence Irving, John Collins created a new mural for the stalls bar. In 1963, a musical adaption of the Pickwick Papers premièred on 4 July 1963, featuring Harry Secombe in his first role in a musical, it was a success, remaining in the West End for two years and going on to tour the US, with a run on Broadway. Brian Epstein, manager of The Beatles and himself a former drama student, leased the theatre in 1965, presenting both plays and rock and roll shows; the venue became notorious for its Sunday night concerts. During one by Chuck Berry, members of the audience stormed the stage and the police were called to clear the theatre.
The venue saw several appearances of The Jimi Hendrix Experience, notably in August 1967, after their mini US tour and their groundbreaking Monterey Pop Festival performance. The Move and Procol Harum appeared on the bill. An eclectic mix of bands such as Nirvana, Fairport Convention, the Incredible String Band and The Bee Gees appeared there; the Beatles borrowed the Saville to make their "Hello, Goodbye" promo in November 1967, on 8 December 1967, Yoko Ono performed her The Fog Machine: Music of the Mind there, which included a projection of her film Bottoms in the men's room during the concert. The Rolling Stones played two shows on 21 December 1969; the theatre was sold in 1969, returned to presenting theatrical productions and under the new management it presented the London première of The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, a production that brought Leonard Rossiter to public attention. The last play to be performed at the theatre was Enemy by Robert Maugham, opening for a short run in December 1969.
The Saville was converted to a two screen cinema. The conversion was undertaken by William Ryder and Associates, it opened on 22 December 1970 with ABC1 seating 616, ABC2 581. The stage area became administration offices and little of the original theatre internal structure remains. In 2001, the building was taken over by the Odeon cinema group and is now the four screen Odeon Covent Garden cinema; the exterior of the theatre retains many of the 1930s details, although the wrought iron window on the frontage has been replaced by glass blocks. A sculptured frieze by British sculptor Gilbert Bayes around the building for nearly 130 feet and represents'Drama Through The Ages'. For the Love of Mike Tell Her the Truth – musical He Wanted Adventure Jill Darling – musical Here Come the Boys Gay's the Word – musical Keep In A Cool Place – comedy by William P Templeton Valmouth – musical Zuleika – musical Expresso Bongo – Musical Progress to the Park – Play The Lord Chamberlain Regets...! – Revue Photo Finish – Play Semi-Detached – Play Pickwick – musical Cinema Treasures — Odeon Covent Garden Guide to British Theatres 1750–1950, John Earl and Michael Sell pp. 139 ISBN 0-7136-5688-3 History of the Saville Theatre With Images and original Programmes