Twenty Theatres to See Before You Die

Amber Massie-Blomfield

"Enjoying immensely ... Perceptive and beautifully written"

Lyn Gardner
published in a handsome paperback edition with flaps and super-matt jacket

From the tip of Cornwall to the Isle of Mull, Amber Massie-Blomfield takes the road less travelled to discover Britain’s most astonishing and unexpected theatres.

A ruined playhouse, haunted halls, a stage hewn from granite cliffs. Theatres on wheels, squeezed into a former public lavatory and rescued from fire. A theatre that is not there at all.

Making the case for radical, quirky and nonconforming performance spaces alongside iconic venues, this book is a celebration of thriving against the odds. It also tells a personal account of a life-long love affair with the places where ‘anything is possible’: from open-air fry-ups and an impromptu can-can to paranormal manifestations.

An adventure through theatre, place and the people who make it happen, Twenty Theatres to See Before You Die gives us reason to be hopeful.

Our price £9.99
RRP £14.99
Paperback with flaps
352 pages
ISBN 9781908058454
Published 25 May 2018
Cover design: Matthew Young

Reviews

This is a beautifully written book, informative and considered, offering hope about the arts and what they can achieve – and it’s also a handy travel guide that I’ll consult when planning weekends away or day trips.
Lynn Enright, The Pool

With a friendly and warm tone that mixes storytelling with analytical style, Amber Massie-Blomfield concisely examines theatre’s value to the wider community, whether it is its history, architecture or inclusivity that has made an impact.
★★★★ Phoebe Cole, The Spy in the Stalls

Passionate and insightful ... an important work for our times.
Benjamin Yeoh, Then Do Better

The communities, the gathering of strangers and the idea that anything is possible warms the heart. [...] This book is not a bucket list of theatres to check out, [but] a charming collection of stories featuring people, memories and communities.
Caroline King, Contrary Life

A fascinating read for anyone with an interest in the history of theatre.
Emma Clarendon, Love London Love Culture

I loved Twenty Theatres to See Before You Die more than I can say. It’s a beautiful, beautifully written book, that deserves to win prizes.
David Eldridge, playwright

Perceptive and beautfiully written.
Lyn Gardner, theatre critic

Media coverage

The most spectacular theatres to visit in the UK.
Amber Massie-Blomfield writing in The i

The book that shows theatre can be a thing of beauty.
Jessie Thompson, Evening Standard

One of the best things about a theatre is how it provides a readymade community - you just turn up, and there they all are. It's a wonderful salve for loneliness.
Amber Massie-Blomfield interviewed for Run-Riot

Hidden gems open up theatre to a wider range of audiences.
Amber Massie-Blomfield writing in The Stage

Theatres are places where we learn to be compassionate and to celebrate difference.
Amber Massie-Blomfield writing in UK Theatre

Amber Massie-Blomfield interviewed by Jo Good on BBC London Radio

About the author

Amber Massie-Blomfield is an arts producer and non-fiction writer. Her work has been commissioned and published by Standart, Unbound, Annexe Magazine, The Wrong Quarterly, The Independent, The Guardian, Exeunt and New Internationalist. She is a regular contributor to The Stage. She received the Society of Authors’ Michael Meyer Award in 2016, and in 2018 a Special Achievement Award at the Off West End Awards for her work at Camden People’s Theatre, where she was Executive Director from 2014 to 2018. She is a fellow of Birkbeck, University of London, and the Royal Society of the Arts. Twenty Theatres to See Before You Die is her first book. She lives in Brighton.

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