|Old Compton Street|
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Old Compton Street is a road that runs east–west through Soho in the West End of London.
The street was named after Henry Compton who raised funds for a local parish church, eventually dedicated as St Anne's Church in 1686.[ citation needed ] The area in general and this street in particular became the home of Huguenots, French Protestant refugees who were given asylum in England by Charles II in 1681.
By the end of the 18th century, fewer than ten of the houses were without shop fronts.[ citation needed ] In the middle of the 19th century, while there were some workshops too, as well as restaurants and public houses, the ground floors of most of the houses were still used as shops. The number of people of overseas descent continued to grow and the street became a meeting place for exiles, particularly those from France: after the suppression of the Paris Commune, the poets Arthur Rimbaud and Paul Verlaine often frequented drinking haunts here.
Old Compton Street had its resident curiosity in the form of Wombwell's Menagerie.[ citation needed ] George Wombwell kept a boot and shoe shop on the street between 1804 and 1810 and, by all accounts, was quite an entrepreneur. Of short stature and an alcoholic, he nonetheless built up three hugely successful menageries from a starting point of two snakes bought at a bargain price. The menageries travelled around England and made him a wealthy man before his death in 1850.[ citation needed ]
Between 1956 and 1970 the 2 I's Coffee Bar was located here. Many well-known 1960s pop musicians played in its cramped surroundings.[ citation needed ]
Today, the street is the main focal point for London's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.[ citation needed ] In Soho, central London, it features several gay bars, restaurants and cafés, as well as a popular theatre. Whilst a pedestrianisation project proved unpopular with local traders and was reversed, the street is closed to vehicular traffic for the Soho Pride festival one weekend each year, in late summer.
The Prince Edward Theatre is located on the east end of the street. Until 2004 the long-running production of Mamma Mia! , a musical based upon the songs of ABBA, was showing at the theatre. When Mamma Mia! moved to larger premises in another part of the West End, a production of Mary Poppins moved in, but closed in 2008. It subsequently became home to Aladdin . London producer and director Adam Spreadbury-Maher lives at the northern end of Old Compton Street.
In 1999, the Admiral Duncan pub was the site of a nail bomb attack which killed three people and injured over a dozen.A neo-nazi, David Copeland, was subsequently found guilty of the bombing (intended specifically to injure members of the gay community). Previously decorated in neutral colours, the Admiral Duncan was re-opened with a flamboyant pink and purple exterior with a large rainbow flag flying outside as a symbol of gay pride. The flag has remained there ever since, in defiance of Westminster City Council's planning permission laws.
Along the street are numerous other gay bars including Comptons of SOHO and G-A-Y. Also on the street are a variety of cafés, tea rooms (including the original branch of the Patisserie Valerie chain) and restaurants (including Bincho, a yakitori restaurant and Balans, which unusually for much of England is open 24 hours a day), and sex shops.
In the middle of Charing Cross Road, at its junction with Old Compton Street, beneath the grill in the traffic island in the middle of the road, can be seen the old road signs [ citation needed ]for the now-vanished Little Compton Street, which once joined Old Compton Street with New Compton Street.
Soho is an area of the City of Westminster, part of the West End of London. Originally a fashionable district for the aristocracy, it has been one of the main entertainment districts in the capital since the 19th century.
Charing Cross Road is a street in central London running immediately north of St Martin-in-the-Fields to St Giles Circus and then becomes Tottenham Court Road. It is so called because it leads from the north in the direction of Charing Cross at the south side of Trafalgar Square, which it connects via St Martin's Place and the motorised east side of the square.
The West End of London is a district of Central London, west of the City of London and north of the River Thames, in which many of the city's major tourist attractions, shops, businesses, government buildings and entertainment venues, including West End theatres, are concentrated.
Shaftesbury Avenue is a major street in the West End of London, named after Anthony Ashley Cooper, 7th Earl of Shaftesbury. It runs north-easterly from Piccadilly Circus to New Oxford Street, crossing Charing Cross Road at Cambridge Circus. From Piccadilly Circus to Cambridge Circus, it is in the City of Westminster, and from Cambridge Circus to New Oxford Street, it is in the London Borough of Camden.
Wardour Street is a street in Soho, City of Westminster, London. It is a one-way street that runs north from Leicester Square, through Chinatown, across Shaftesbury Avenue to Oxford Street. Throughout the 20th century the street became a centre for the British film industry and popular music scene.
The 1999 London nail bombings were a series of bomb explosions in London, United Kingdom. Over three successive weekends between 17 and 30 April 1999, homemade nail bombs were detonated respectively in Brixton, south London; Brick Lane in Spitalfields in the East End; and in The Admiral Duncan pub in Soho in the West End. Each bomb contained up to 1,500 four-inch nails, in holdalls that were left in public spaces. The bombs killed three people, including a pregnant woman, and injured 140 people, four of whom lost limbs.
The Admiral Duncan is a public house in Old Compton Street, Soho in central London that is well known as one of Soho's oldest gay pubs. It is named after Admiral Adam Duncan, who defeated the Dutch fleet at the Battle of Camperdown in 1797.
The nail bomb is an anti-personnel explosive device packed with nails to increase its effectiveness at harming victims. The nails act as shrapnel, leading almost certainly to greater loss of life or injury in inhabited areas than the explosives alone would. The nail bomb is also a type of flechette weapon. Such weapons use bits of shrapnel to create a larger radius of destruction.
David Morley was a barman who was fatally attacked by a group of youths near Waterloo station in London on the morning of 30 October 2004. The attack garnered widespread media coverage as a fatality of a violent trend known as happy slapping and due to the belief that the attack was motivated by homophobia.
The Prince of Wales Theatre is a West End theatre in Coventry Street, near Leicester Square in London. It was established in 1884 and rebuilt in 1937, and extensively refurbished in 2004 by Sir Cameron Mackintosh, its current owner. The theatre should not be confused with the former Scala Theatre in London that was known as the Prince of Wales Royal Theatre or Prince of Wales's Theatre from 1865 until its demolition in 1903.
Frith Street is in the Soho area of London. To the north is Soho Square and to the south is Shaftesbury Avenue. The street crosses Old Compton Street, Bateman Street and Romilly Street.
The King's Head Theatre, founded in 1970 by Dan Crawford, is an off-West End venue in London. It is the second oldest operating pub theatre in the UK. In March 2010 Adam Spreadbury-Maher became Artistic Director and the theatre became home to resident company OperaUpClose for 4 years.
Greek Street is a street in Soho, London, leading south from Soho Square to Shaftesbury Avenue. The street is famous for its restaurants and cosmopolitan nature.
Brighton and Hove City Centre is the commercial and cultural centre of the city of Brighton. Geographically, the so-called city centre is located in an easterly part of the Brighton and Hove urban conurbation.
The Cat's Whisker was a coffee bar situated at 1 Kingly Street, Soho, London, during the mid-late 1950s. It offered London youngsters Spanish dancing, live rock 'n roll, and skiffle.
Adam Spreadbury-Maher is an Australian/Irish theatre artistic director, producer and writer. He is the founding artistic director of the Cock Tavern Theatre, OperaUpClose and The Hope Theatre, and is the current artistic director of the King's Head Theatre. Spreadbury-Maher introduced the first unionised pay agreement for actors in a pub-theatre in 2011, and in 2017 introduced the first fringe creative pay agreement and gender policy.
Comptons of Soho is a gay pub in London. Situated at 51–53 Old Compton Street in the heart of Soho's 'Gay village', Comptons has been an integral part of London's gay scene since June 1986.
The First Domino is an English play about a fictional terrorist bomber, written by Jonathan Cash, who was injured in the 1999 bombing of the Admiral Duncan pub in Soho, London by David Copeland.
The LGBT community in London is one of the largest within Europe, LGBT culture of London, England, is centred on Old Compton Street in Soho. There are also LGBT pubs and restaurants in Earl's Court.
On 29 October 1975 the Provisional IRA planted and detonated a bomb at the Trattoria Fiore Italian restaurant on Mount Street in Mayfair in the West End of London. Eighteen were injured, eight seriously. One woman lost her foot, another American tourist had her scalp ripped off. The time bomb was planted by the IRA near the restaurant's windows. The IRA would bomb other restaurants and bars in November, including Scott's Oyster Bar on the same street, killing three people in total and injuring 38.
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