Tuesday 8 February 2022

Book Review: Amazing Theatres of the World by Dominic Connolly (Non-Fiction/Theatre)

Title: Amazing Theatres of the World
Author: Dominic Connolly
Publisher: Amber Books
Publication Date: 14 April 2022
Pages: 220
Format: eBook - PDF
Genre: Non-Fiction/Theatre
Source: ARC via NetGalley 

While often some of the most beautiful, opulent buildings in a town or city, a theatre is so much more than a space for the performance of a play. It is a cultural hub, a meeting place for people from all walks of life and, through the stories told there, brings people together in numerous ways. Indeed, theatres have been doing so for over two millennia. The theatre comes in many forms. From the more rigid and repeated (but no less attractive) designs of Greek and Roman theatres, the buildings that now house our shared cultural output boast some of the finest, most creative structures in the world. Huge and cathedral-like or modest, concrete and futuristic or neo-Renaissance, we are lucky that the physical constructions themselves recapture the ambition of the arts performed within. With chapters organised by continent and featuring theatres and opera houses – and any space for the performing arts – from the Americas, Africa, Asia, Europe and Australasia, Amazing Theatres of the World includes modern masterpieces and ancient remains, art deco delights and Baroque classics, taking in centuries of theatre building. Both the exterior and the interior of buildings are examined, as well as behind-the-scenes shots of dressing rooms and the mechanics of putting on a show. In so doing, we catch a glimpse of how the performing arts and their home has evolved over time. Illustrated with more than 190 photographs, Amazing Theatres of the World includes more than 150 of the most stunning theatres and opera houses. 


Amazing Theatres of the World is a book sure to appeal to theatre fans. It contains numerous wonderful photos of theatres and performance spaces around the world, and each picture was accompanied by a brief text about the theatre. This is a book you would flick through, rather than read per se, but it's a lovely coffee-table work. I had only two small niggles: one, that I found some of the photos (in terms of what was shown/angles) a little odd, and two, that while the book did cover 'the world', it was heavy on Europe and America and lighter on Asia and Africa. There have been so many books like this already concentrating on London theatres that I found that section had nothing new to offer and I, personally, would have welcomed seeing more images from other countries, showcasing theatres I didn't know so much about. Even so, it is, as I said, a work sure to please theatre lovers, and I am giving it four stars.

I received this book as a free eBook ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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