An armchair tour of London’s literary landmarks looking at some of the places where famous authors lived, worked, parties and loved. From Chaucer and Shakespeare in Southwark to Dr Johnson in Fleet Street. From Charles Dickens and Virginia Woolf in Bloomsbury to Zadie Smith in North West London, this illustrated talk will introduce you to a variety of literary personalities and their haunts.
This talk treats you to historical vignettes and anecdotes about some of our famous theatres. Discover how theatre developed from the Elizabethan playhouses of Bankside and Shoreditch, through the rise of restoration drama in Covent Garden to Shaftesbury Avenue’s Edwardian and Victorian theatres. Bringing things up to date we’ll discover the birth of the Fringe and the current vogue for site specific theatre in unusual venues. The illustrated talk will include anecdotes about theatrical personalities, superstitions and traditions.
Retail Therapy – London Shopping Through the Ages
Starting with the historic shops of St James’s we move via elegant Regency shopping arcades to the tailors of Saville Row, designers of Bond Street and the grand department stores. A shop founded by a Royal footman, a 17th century hatter, the arcade where you are not allowed to whistle, a couturier who dressed the Queen and the department store owner who went to jail for expanding his business all feature in this illustrated lecture.
Artists in London
From the garrets of Soho and Covent Garden to the grand studio houses of Kensington and the modern live/work spaces of East London we follow the progress of a variety of artists who have made London their home. What turns an area into a creative quarter and how have artists made their mark on the development of the capital? All will be revealed during this illustrated talk.
Your favourite area of London
With one of the most extensive repertoires of London tours on offer, Diane will develop any tour into an illustrated talk. Whether it’s the traditions of the City of London, the elegant districts of Mayfair and Belgravia , the once shady but now trendy East End with fascinating social history or the curiosities of London’s lesser known districts, there’s something for everyone so ask Diane to tailor a talk to your group’s interests.
BIOGRAPHY AND BACKGROUND
Historian and Broadcaster Diane Burstein has more than 20 years of experience leading guided tours in London’s most vibrant and intriguing districts.
She holds the prestigious Blue Badge, Britain’s highest guiding qualification and loves to show both visitors and Londoners the more unusual sights away from the tourist trail. Her regular radio broadcasts on the subject of Secret London for LBC and BBC Radio London have helped her to gain a large following of loyal clients.
When she isn’t guiding, Diane can usually be found in the audience of one of London’s many theatres which has led her to develop an additional area of expertise which she brings to her theatre related talks and tours.
“On every occasion Diane had delighted our audiences with her expertise and enthusiasm. She has a very natural, confident manner and I consider her to be an accomplished communicator”. Mike Paterson. Director, London Historians.
“Diane has always been totally professional in her preparation and has provided excellent events. She has a strong confident delivery and never has to refer to notes. I am always impressed by her depth of knowledge and her ability to weave different threads into her talks. Whenever I advertise an event with her name it is guaranteed to sell out”. Susan Boome, Friends and Events Co-ordinator, Museum of London.
“Our members have always found Diane’s talks very interesting and entertaining, inspiring us to visit the places she has talked about. She has a good delivery and is lively and vivacious, our concentration never wanders”. Sheila Allighan, Stanmore and Harrow Historical Society
“The depth of Diane’s knowledge was amazing and the way she delivered her talk had us all engrossed”. Peggy Roe, Richmond U3A