One of the world’s major centers for theatre, Britain has a centuries-old dramatic tradition and about 300 theatres. There are several thousand amateur dramatic societies in Britain. The Royal Shakespeare Company performs in Stratford-upon Avon and at the Barbican Centre in London. A modern reconstruction of the Globe Theatre, close to its original site, is under way. Most cities and towns in Britain have at least one theatre. There are 500 youth theatres in England alone. The Unicorn Theatre for Children and Polka Children’s Theatre, both in London, present plays written specially for children, and the Young Vic Company in London and Contact Theatre Company in Manchester stage plays for young people. Until recently the history of the english theatre has been build around actors rather then companies. It was hard to find any London theatre that even had a consistent policy. There is no permanent staff in British theatres. A play is rehearsed for a few weeks by a company of actors working together mostly for the first time and it is allowed to run as long as it draws the odious and pays it's way. Another peculiarity of the theatres in Great Britain is as follows: there are two kinds of seats, which can be booked in advance (bookable), and unbookable ones have no numbers and the spectators occupy them on the principle: first come - first served. The performances start at about eight and finish at about eleven. Seats are expensive and a night out at a theatre is quite a luxury for the average Londoners. Most theatres and musical halls have good orchestras, with popular conductors. Contemporary British playwrights who have received wide recognition include Alan Ayckbourn, Alan Bannett, Caryl Churchill, David Hare, and Tom Stoppard. The musicals of Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber have been highly successful in Britain and around the world. The centre of theatrical activity is London, where it is concentrated mainly in London’s West End. Theatres are very much the same in London as anywhere else. If you are staying in London for a few days, you will have no difficulty in finding somewhere to spend an evening. You will find an opera, comedy, drama, musical comedy, and variety. The first theatre in England "The Blackfries" was built in 1576, and "The Globe", which is closely connected with William Shakespeare, was built in 1599. Speaking about our times we should first of all mention "The Royal National theatre", "The Royal Shakespeare company" and "Covent Garden". The Royal National Theatre (generally known as the National Theatre and commonly as The National) in London is one of the United Kingdom's two most prominent publicly funded theatre companies, alongside the Royal Shakespeare Company. Internationally, it is styled the National Theatre of Great Britain. Since 1988, the theatre has been permitted to call itself the Royal National Theatre, but the full title is rarely used. The theatre presents a varied programme, including Shakespeare and other international classic drama; and new plays by contemporary playwrights. Each auditorium in the theatre can run up to three shows in repertoire, thus further widening the number of plays which can be put on during any one season. The NT has an annual turnover of approximately £54 million (in 2008–09). Earned income made up approximately 54% of this total (34% from ticket sales and 20% as revenue from the restaurants, bookshops, etc.). Support from the Arts Council and a number of smaller government grants provided 35% of this income, and the remaining 11% came from a mixture of private support from companies, individuals, trusts and foundations. The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) is a major British theatre company, based in Stratford-upon-Avon. The company employs 700 staff and produces around 20 productions a year from its home in Stratford-upon-Avon and plays regularly in London, Newcastle-upon-Tyne and on tour across the UK and internationally. As well as the plays...
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