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Riverside Studios

The Riverside Studios juggle theatre, dance and performance art, in a varied programme, with first-class facilities. Consequently, it's held in high esteem within dance circles, and the venue regularly attracts top-draw performers from the United Kingdom, and abroad.Riverside Studios: innovative arts centre in West London.

Although smaller than the Barbican or Southbank, Riverside Studios often opts for a more diverse choice. As well as dance, theatre and film it also hosts art and photography exhibtions, TV shows, book launches, workshops, live music and comedy.

Situated in a pleasant riverside location, overlooking the Thames in Hammersmith, The Riverside Studios was where TFI Friday used to be filmed.

The Riverside Studio's main attraction for me is its 'double-bill' cinema programmes. Back in the distant past, when people went on holiday to Margate, ate out at sit-down Wimpys and bought clothes from doorstop catalogues - cinemas mostly offered double-bills.

Not one film, no - two for the same admission price. One pairing that sticks in my mind, was "Chariots of Fire" with "Gregory's Girl". Like most, I was expecting Chariots to be the main event, but in truth, Gregory's Girl knocked it out of the park. Which neatly highlights why they're such a force to be reckoned with. I'd probably never have seen it at the time, had it not been part of a double feature. I also saw 'The Empire Strikes Back" as a double bill - they preceded it with "Star Wars" and queues snaked around the block.

Yep. I miss the double-bill programme, so it's heartening to know that the Riverside Studios is keeping the flag flying, all by themselves. They still soldier on, fashionable or not and bless them for it.


Southbank Centre

Situated on the south bank of the River Thames next to the popular BA London Eye, Southbank Centre is at the heart of an arts quarter stretching from the Royal National Theatre and National Film Theatre to Tate Modern and Shakespeare's Globe.Southbank Centre: offers a comprehensive dance programme.

Southbank Centre consists of the Royal Festival Hall, the Hayward Gallery, Queen Elizabeth Hall (containing the Purcell Room), and the Saison Poetry Library. SC also manage the Arts Council Collection and organises the National Touring Exhibition programme in venues throughout the UK.

Southbank Centre's wide-ranging programme: classical & world music, rock & pop, jazz, dance, literature and the visual arts - attracts the most diverse audience of any UK venue.


Barbican Centre

(1 vote, average 4.00 out of 5)

The Barbican Centre is a major dance venue and also stages theatre, music and other arts productions. It's also the home of the internationally renowned London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) and the BBC Symphony Orchestra.The Barbican Centre - includes dance in its arts programme.
Let's be upfront, it's no looker. Built in an area north of the City of London which was heavily bomb damaged during the second world-war, The Barbican Centre was a gift by the City (Corporation of London) to the nation, at a cost approaching £500m in today's money. It's built in a 'Brutalist' style using concrete, pressed into slabs, which absorb airborne particulants and discolour in an unattractive way. The central ziggurat was recently voted London's ugliest building.

Try to get past the aesthetic barrier though. The Barbican Centre is one of the finest arts complexes in Europe and has consistently established interesting, challenging and innovative programmes over the decades. One which sticks in my mind, was the Colourspace exhibition in 1987, where everyone wore capes and pranced around inside a huge inflatable. Fun and very memorable.


Sadler’s Wells

Sadler's Wells is a theatre with a strong, dynamic contemporary programme, uniquely dedicated to bringing the very best international and UK dance to London audiences. The present day theatre seats 1,500 and specialises in dance, ranging from ballet to hip hop, contemporary dance to flamenco. Opera, theatre, visual arts and dance on screen also feature in its repertoire.Sadler's Wells: just north of Clerkenwell on the fringes of the City.

The present building on Rosebery Avenue in Islington opened in 1998, after a major fundraising programme, supported by Lottery funding. Behind the stylish glass, brick, wood and steel of the new theatre is a history spanning over 300 years. Six previous theatre buildings have carried the Sadler's Wells name and occupied the same site since the first opened its doors in 1683.


Opera Holland Park

(1 vote, average 5.00 out of 5)

Opera Holland Park is a summer opera company which produces an annual season of opera performances under a temporary canopy in Holland Park (to the west of Hyde Park/Kensington Gardens. The venue is fully covered but is open at the sides.Opera Holland Park: is an outdoor (but covered) venue set in parkland in central London.

As part of a drive to improve artistic standards "Opera Holland Park" was established in 1996 to produce all future productions, and in recent years the company has enjoyed a long string of hits with major achievements in productions of more obscure repertoire. It is now considered one of the most accomplished non-state opera companies in the UK. The resident orchestra is the City of London Sinfonia.

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