Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the West End
West End Producer, the masked man of Theatreland and author of the definitive guide to acting*, returns with the ultimate guide to the theatregoing experience - for anyone who's ever been to the theatre, or who thinks they might like to try it one day.
As the Godfather of theatre producers, with an enviable track-record in uncovering new talent (via his competitions Search for a Twitter Star and Search for a Twitter Composer) and a regular column in The Stage newspaper, WEP is a cult figure in London's theatre scene, frequently attending press nights with his trusty Jean Valjean teddy by his side.
Now he's ready to share his industry secrets once again, this time coming to the aid of audience members everywhere as they embark on the most perilous quest of all: going to the theatre.
Packed with insider know-how and naughty advice, this book will tell you how to make your West End adventure as smooth as Craig Revel Horwood's nose, including tips and advice on:
It will even help you save a bit of money as well.**
Also included are many of WEP's most wickedly astute tweets, potted histories of some of the greatest West End shows, and handy instructions on how to become one of West End Producer's Theatre Prefects - protecting theatres from phone users, snorers, and persistent latecomers.
So, put on your nicest frock, grab your tickets, and don't be late. This book will begin in five minutes. I repeat: five minutes, dear.
'All the crucial facts, naughty wit and insider knowledge that every theatregoer needs to have. Hysterically accurate, bitingly savage. Read this before buying your theatre ticket. Fab-u-lous, darling!' Craig Revel Horwood
'This book had me snorting prosecco out of my nostrils, dear. Hilarious yet chock-full of insider tips - and some stuff we all think about the theatre we know and love, but wouldn't dare say whilst sober. Glorious.' Meera Syal
'West End Producer is shaping up to be the theatre's version of William Goldman: funny, astute and incisive, slyly twitching aside the curtains of the West End to reveal its most embarrassing secrets. A must for theatre-lovers (and haters).' Joanne Harris
'WEP does it again! His shrewd observation and deliciously waspish words neatly skewer and illuminate the rarefied world of theatre. I recommend everyone to read the section on what not to say to actors and applaud WEP's suggestion of a Theatre Prefect Programme. Theatre may be too dear - but WEP is very dear too.' Colin Baker
* Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Acting, But Were Afraid To Ask, Dear
** After all, the Dom Prignon won't buy itself.
West End Producer - or WEP to his friends - was always destined for a career in the theatre after being born on stage during a particularly bloody production of Titus Andronicus. His father was a cross-dressing dame, for whom he used to make outfits; his mother was 'the butchest Maria von Trapp I have ever seen', according to Harold Hobson in The Sunday Times; and his first words were 'Hello, Dolly!'
In his youth, he worked both backstage and onstage at his local amateur theatre, and was voted 'Most Likely to Go Pro'. One day a director spotted him, plucked him from obscurity, saying he'd be great with 'a bit of make-up and a hat' - and cast him in a national tour of Porgy and Bess.
A miserable year on the road saw WEP nearly hang up his show-pants for good - but a chance, late-night encounter with the great impresario Binkie Beaumont inspired him to try his hand at producing. And he's never looked back…
WEP literally lives, breathes and eats theatre, watching as many new productions as he can cram into his busy schedule. He is a weekly contributor to The Stage newspaper, where his popular column offers practical advice to performers on all aspects of the business. His first book, Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Acting (But Were Afraid to Ask, Dear), was a huge success, and was followed by the equally extravagantly titled Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Going to the Theatre (But Were Too Sloshed to Ask, Dear).
At present, WEP spends his days writing and tweeting to his loyal followers, producing, walking around Soho, disciplining actors, making sure everyone faces the right way in auditions, and getting sloshed on as much Dom as possible. He has been called West End Producer for so long that even he has forgotten his real name.
'Go and buy several copies of this book and give it to your luvvie friends… the perfect combination of real knowledge and witty, slightly silly jokes that make you feel like an insider… a joy'
'Definitely the best theatre book of 2017… funny because it's so irreverently acute… anyone who teaches drama, goes to the theatre, works in the industry, is training to do so, or would like to, will recognise all this and smile. And at times they will split their sides. Buy several copies!'
'Hilarious but accurate... wonderful'
'Packed with info and full of inventive innuendo'
'There's a lot crammed into this book, everything is in there'
'Provides a laugh a minute with every page turn'
'It's accessible, very readable, and gives a comprehensive no-holds-barred overview about every aspect of attending the theatre… for all the humour, this genuinely is a book that can be used as a guide to actual theatregoing'