Peoples and traditions
and cultural activity in Britain
ranges from the highest professional standards to a wide variety of
is one of the leading world centers for drama, music, opera and dance.
cities are serve as centers of artistic excellence in their regions.
professional arts festivals take place each year. The Edinburgh
Festival is the largest of its kind in the world.
Britain has about 300 theatres intended for
professional use, of which about 100 are in London, including the Royal National
The Royal Shakespeare Company performs in Stratford-upon-Avon,
Shakespeare's birthplace, and in London.
Sixty-four companies receive subsidies from the Arts Councils.
British playwrights who have received international recognition include
Pinter, Alan Ayckbourn, Caryl Churchill and David Hare. The musicals of
Andrew Lloyd Webber, including "Evita", "Cats" and
"Phantom of the Opera", have been highly successful in Britain,
and around the
music for every taste in Britain
including opera, choral and classical orchestra's pieces, rock and pop,
and jazz, military and brass bands, acoustic and newly emerging musical
collaborations such as music theatre, music video, and music with live
musical composition, experimentation is in vogue, with composers mixing
sources: medieval modes and minimalism, quotations from Wagner and from
Debussy, Indian melodies and African rhythms. Since the early 60s with
emergence of the Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and the Who, through the
Genesis, Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd and the 80s with Dire Straits and
Police and punk pioneers like.
Britain's leading symphony orchestras
include the London Philharmonic, the City of Birmingham Symphony, and the Ulster
Royal Scottish Orchestras. There are also chamber orchestras such as
English Chamber Orchestra and the Academy of St.
enjoying unprecedented audiences and attention in the 90s due to
on television as those directed by Jonathan Miller and well publicised
commercial recordings of the classics. Royal Opera, Covent Gardens,
and the English National Opera are the main London opera companies. Scotland,
and Northern Ireland
have their own opera companies. Scottish Opera has regular seasons at
Theatre Royal in Glasgow
and tours mainly in Scotland
and northern England.
Welsh National Opera presents seasons in Cardiff
and other cities in England.
have a wide choice of dance in Britain
including classical ballet, African people Dance, physical theatre,
dance and contemporary dance. The lion's share of Arts Council funding
dance, about 90 per cent goes to support the Royal Ballet (housed with
Royal Opera in Covent Garden), the Birmingham Royal Ballet, which tours
in Britain and overseas; English National Ballet, which performs in
regionally; Northern Ballet Theatre, based in Halifax which tours
mostly in the
north of England; and Scottish Ballet based in Glasgow. Britain's
leading contemporary dance company, the Ballet Rambert is also
the Arts Council, as is the London Contemporary Dance Theatre, which
regular seasons in London
and tours. Adzido Pan African Dance Ensemble is also supported and the
which combines, dance, theatre and acrobatics.
South Asian dance and African People's dance have increased in
Since the 70s and the introduction of 'animators' (usually a
trained dance artist who provides a range of dance activity within a
locality) a greater public awareness of dance is evident. As a result,
national dance agencies were established in Birmingham, Leeds,
Leicester, London, Newcastle
and Swindon to offer training,
support and creative opportunities for artists. These agencies either
and produce dance productions themselves or work closely in
films, actors and the creative and technical services, which support
acclaimed at international film festivals. The industry also produces
television. There are many well known British performers, three of the
known being Sean Connery, Michael Caine and Kenneth Branaugh.
about 2,500 museums and art galleries in Britain. The major national
museums, many of which are in London,
have world-famous artistic, archaeological, scientific and historical
collections. They include the British Museum,
History Museum, the National Gallery and the Tate Gallery. Many of Britain's
private houses (some open to the public) are of prime architectural
and also contain art treasures.