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REVIEW: New Theaterland Series on DVD


True theater people will do anything for their love of the craft, in fact they do it all. That’s the premise of this new, fascinating DVD series that gives the viewer a behind-the-scenes peek at life in one of London’s most famed halls, the Theater Royal Haymarket.

Although the premise at first sounded a bit mundane, specifically a look at the day-to-day workings of this theater as they prepare to mount two productions – Waiting for Godot and Breakfast at Tiffany’s – the reality is quite the opposite. You get to meet the stars (Sir Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, Anna Friel, and more) and learn what makes them tick, leading up to and through a production. However this series is more than the stars, its about the compelling personalities who work behind the curtain and front of house, too.

We meet the house manager, the stage manager, the ushers (a fun and perky Rozzie Case), and more. However, what I think sums this series up best is Sabrina, a contractor who speaks lovingly about the important role she plays in helping make sure it’s a memorable experience for the audience, as she grouts tiles in the men’s room. It’s the passion that Sabrina has, even fixing the “loo”, that comes through and it’s the passion each employee has that provides a compelling view that makes you want to peek behind the curtain.

About #COTA

Center On The Aisle -- or #COTA) for short -- was founded by theater expert, Steve Schonberg in 2014, and the site now boasts a team of 15 expert writers and reviewers. Steve created the site to help casual theatergoers easily access informative and entertaining content to help them engage more with the theater, and make confident and informed decisions when selecting shows. With this mission, the #COTA team applies their deep theater knowledge and attendance at hundreds of shows a year to create the site's content. That's quite a task! Covering Broadway, off-Broadway, cabaret, dance, music and more, the #COTA team provides a range of valuable perspectives to inform and engage readers. After all, the theater is part of our history, heritage and cultural identity - it should be engaged in as often as possible. Welcome, again, to #COTA and please come again.

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