About the Founder
I’m Jade and I am the founder of West End Theatre Guide London.
My passion for theatre began when I was 13 and I saw a jukebox musical called Rock of Ages at the Garrick Theatre. I watched performances of many Shakespeare plays when I was younger and had seen a few musicals previously but this show started my lifelong love affair with the theatre. I don’t know why it made such an impact on me but I guess it was this show’s down-to-earth nature. For those of you who haven’t seen it, it’s about a small town girl who comes to LA to be an actress and meets a bartender and aspiring rockstar. It’s a very easy, stereotypical story and it knew this and made a joke of it, and along the way played some fantastic ’80s rock. This production didn’t take itself seriously and knew its purpose was to entertain, not redefine the industry as we know it.
From that moment on, theatre was all I talked about. From ‘Lullaby of Broadway’ to ‘All That Jazz’ to ‘On My Own’ to ‘Music of the Night’ to ‘Big Girls Don’t Cry’ to ‘Carnival del Barrio’ to ‘Memphis Lives In Me’ and ‘Defying Gravity’ – I loved it. I’m a lover of every kind of show: classics, jukebox, plays, musicals, comedies, tragedies, satires, farce, improv…I could go on and on.
“It was only the theatre that I lived.”
I became a great admirer of not only the end spectacle of theatre performance but also the work that goes into it from inception to everyday running. The level of talent required to put on a show is staggering: the cast of actors, singers and dancers; the writers, composers and lyricists; the directors, choreographers, and designers; the technicians, ushers and theatre staff. It takes so much to put on a production. What audiences see is maybe 20% of what has gone before and what goes on behind the curtain. Isn’t that the goal: to pull off an extraordinary, complex feat and make it look easy for the paying masses?
It is an extraordinary phenomenon considering the acting, singing, dancing, lighting, sound and band is all done live. The slightest mistake and everyone in the auditorium gasps or laughs – it depends on the show! I think it was said best like this:
“Movies will make you famous; television will make you rich; theatre will make you good.”
This little quote, I feel, encompasses everything that is great about theatre. Movie and TV sets are behind closed doors and audiences never learn how many takes it took to perfect a single scene. In theatre, performers act out the same scenes, lines, and songs eight shows a week without the safety cushion of a person in the director’s chair to yell “cut” if there’s been a mistake.
Having such an avid interest in all things stagey and theatrical, I considered what contribution I could make to the industry. I can’t sing or dance, so I chose the writing side of things. I started this website with the intention of providing an informative, all-inclusive guide to London’s great theatre world; a platform to further people’s enjoyment of the amazing spectacle that is the stage.
Always remember that a single magical performance can start a lifelong passion, it certainly did for me. I hope you find this website useful and that you enjoy all of your future theatre trips.
Director of West End Theatre Guide London
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