Publisher: Routledge; 1st edition (December 7, 2016)
Hardcover: 256 pages
Just before finishing this book I spent a weekend in London. This trip was to celebrate a ‘special’ birthday and, although seeing a show was not the reason for the trip, it seemed an obvious thing to do as part of the celebration. With no particular show in mind, a search for something suitable (and with tickets available!) resulted in our seeing Andrew Lloyd Webber’s ‘Starlight Express’ at the Apollo Victoria. I confess to having enjoyed the experience! About a year earlier I had spent another weekend in London but this time with the sole purpose of seeing Wagner’s opera ‘Parsifal’ at the Coliseum theatre. I was not surprised at having enjoyed that! On these two different occasions, a visit to the theatre has been a part of my time spent away from home as a tourist. It is this experience of seeing shows, plays and dance and listening to concerts and operas whilst away from home that is the subject of this book.
Most of my visits away from home have involved some experiences of concert halls, theatres or cabaret clubs. During my first visit to Spain in the 1960s a visit to a Spanish floor-show was an obligatory part of this new experience of having a foreign holiday. The performances were designed for the foreign visitor and, even then, I could guess they provided nothing that remotely resembled an authentic experience. More recently, I went to see a play in a theatre in Samarkand where I had no idea whatsoever what was going on. This was during a week-long advisory visit to the local university.
Concerts, opera and plays play an important part in my life, though more usually here in my home town than in London, the Costa Brava or Uzbekistan, and I have nothing but admiration for all those wonderfully creative people in the performing arts who give me such enjoyment and fulfilment. I gladly acknowledge their contribution to my life and to this book.
The origins of this book lie in a study I undertook of the Buxton Arts Festival in the 1980s. To that organization, I owe an abiding debt as it stimulated a continuing interest in the arts–tourism relationship. I also acknowledge a debt to many theatre managers, producers, performers and musicians and others in the arts world who are too numerous to mention
individually. They have, over many years, given their time and resources willingly and eagerly to assist with advice and material.
I owe particular thanks to Danielle Benn who was my research assistant for four years and who was an invaluable support in a number of projects relating especially to entertainment and seaside resorts. Her enthusiasm and abilities were boundless and were exceeded only by her cheerfulness and kindness. I know that my loss is a wonderful gain for Bill and Amber.
Subsequent research work was undertaken by Paul Leighton and by Lynda Nyland. Thanks are due to both, especially to Lynda who managed to find the essential missing pieces.
Kathryn Grant at Butterworth-Heinemann has been supportive throughout and without her positive view and encouragement I may never have started this book, let alone finished it. I am very grateful for her inspiration and
Finally, thanks to Kevin for just being himself and for being part of my life.