“Harden’s Theatregoers’ Handbook” is by Roger Foss, chief theatre critic for What’s On in London magazine, and Mark Shenton, theatre critic for the Sunday Express, and is priced £7.99. Foss and Shenton give a very personal, hands-on view of Theatreland and beyond, blending professional knowledge with high consumer standards. The Strand, for instance, is chastised for leg room which is “very poor all around," while The Venue is dismissed as “deeply uncomfortable. There’s no leg room and even less butt room.”
The book is categorized with clearly marked sections given to West End Theatres, Classical Venues, Children’s Theatres, Major Fringe Theatres, Minor Fringe Theatres, Outside London and Regional. There are also chapters on convenient restaurants, a West End map and a glossary. The introduction covers the best and cheapest ways to book tickets, theatre comfort levels and sight lines, transport, theatre etiquette, showbiz shops, walks and backstage tours. And each major entry discusses the venue’s history, facilities, bar service, disabled facilities and where to find the best seat in the house — plus there are seat plans.