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Bright Young Things of Theatre Royal Drury Lane

Cecil Beaton Sotheby's portrait 2

With a flair for the flamboyant and the decadent, the Bright Young Things, a group of creatives which included renowned photographer Cecil Beaton, were one of the defining elements of the 1920s and 1930s in London.

As part of the glorious revival of Theatre Royal Drury Lane, LW Theatres has sought to revive the concept of the Bright Young Things with a series of exciting collaborators who have each played a special part in the newly restored and entirely reimagined theatre building. Across art, food, fashion and design, the Bright Young Things of Theatre Royal Drury Lane have all made a mark which will surprise and delight all who come through our doors.

These are the Bright Young Things of Theatre Royal Drury Lane.

Willow Kemp

Willow Kemp (from the Kit Kemp team), brings a special touch to a theatre steeped in history. After graduating with an MA in Architecture at St John’s College, Cambridge, Kemp went to Germany to study sculpture at the Dusseldorf Kunstakademie directed by Tony Cragg, where she received a further Master’s degree.

Since then, she joined the Design team at Firmdale Hotels, where she plays an instrumental part in creating new furniture, textiles, and product design for the Group – as well as undertaking the role of Art Ambassador, organising curated art walks and In Conversations with artists.

As part of the our new Bright Young Things, Willow has created our unique Mythical Characters crockery which our Afternoon Tea is served on, as well as a range of crockery available to buy in our shop at The Lane.

Maria Kreyn

Adorning the walls of Theatre Royal Drury Lane are the paintings of Russian-born artist, Maria Kreyn. With her work shown in numerous galleries across the world, Kreyn was educated in drawing at the School of Representational Art.

Maria Kreyn is a Russian-born artist based in Brooklyn, New York. She studied math and philosophy at the University of Chicago, which lends a distinct, interdisciplinary lens to her self-taught painting practice.

Reprising art historical conventions of the Baroque and Romantic periods, Maria’s paintings can be best described as a re-mix of familiar pictorial tropes and iconographies that communicate through a combination of allegory, masterfully rendered figures, and mysterious scenes which are neither of a specific time nor place.

In 2019, Andrew Lloyd Webber commissioned Kreyn to create 8 paintings to display in Theatre Royal Drury Lane. The paintings show scenes from Shakespeare reinforcing the Bard's long association with Drury Lane. None of them represent an actual scene in one of the plays, but each captures the emotional intensity of a play's big themes. Maria picked 8 plays: King Lear, Othello, Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, As You Like It, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Hamlet, and The Tempest.

Charles Jeffrey

Charles Jeffrey LOVERBOY is the fashion house founded by Glaswegian designer, illustrator, stylist and radical creative, Charles Jeffrey. Described by Sarah Mower of American Vogue as "the upholder of all that is human, creative and cheerful about British fashion” Jeffrey has steered the LOVERBOY label from fledgling, outsider brand-of-the-moment to a burgeoning business with a retail network of the most revered stores in the world.

Charles Jeffrey was inspired by the vision of what The Lane could become and created a design of our famed Red Coats, that reflected a space for swathes of different people, all in the pursuit of being entertained. His distinct creation of modernist Red Coats bring a new fashion element to The Lane. First launched in 1989, Red Coats are LW Theatres’ esteemed luxury hospitality  team, offering   exceptionally high-end service in all LW Theatres venues. It is a role steeped in British history, based on the traditional Toastmasters who would oversee hosting and entertaining for British society. 

Lily Vanilli

If you’ve had a taste of the sweet treats in our Afternoon Tea, you’ll know the culinary capacities of Lily Vanilli.

Lily Vanilli started out when Lily set up a stall near Brick Lane to sell her cakes in 2008. The success of her market stall led to the opening of Lily Vanilli, Lily’s first bricks and mortar site on Columbia Road in 2010 which has had queues outside the shop since opening. In 2018, Lily opened a second site in Tbilisi, Georgia.

A self-taught baker, Lily is known for her pioneering and innovative cake designs, with clients
including Elton John, Lady Gaga, Madonna, Alexander McQueen, Kate Moss, Vivienne
Westwood and Shrimps amongst many others. Previous projects have included providing lemon meringue pies for Nigel Slater’s West End theatre show, Toast, curating an afternoon tea for restaurant Fountain Frenzy in Nanjing, China, and working as a brand ambassador for Lurpak, Baileys and Billington’s.

As part of the re-opening of The Lane, Lily Vanilli has created our Afternoon Tea menu. Drawing inspiration from the theatre and the popular Regency period, Vanilli has tailored a luxurious and unconventional take of the delicious English love affair with afternoon tea.

Tristan Stephenson

If there is one person that knows a good drink, it’s The Curious Bartender, Tristan Stephenson. Head over to our Cecil Beaton bar where he’s created a bespoke cocktail menu – with each drink linking back to a story behind Theatre Royal Drury Lane.

Tristan Stephenson is an award winning bar operator, bartender, chef, some-time journalist, and bestselling author of the Curious Bartender series of drinks books. He was the co-founder of London-based Fluid Movement, who have operated a number of bars in the capital, and Curious Laboratories beverage consultancy. Tristan was named Imbibe Magazine’s Innovator of the Year in 2019 and was awarded UK bartender of the year by CLASS Magazine in 2012, in the same year he was included in Evening Standard’s top 1000 most influential Londoners. He has appeared on various TV shows in the UK, including Market Kitchen, Live with Gabby and Something For the Weekend. Tristan is an occasional contributor to Tristan’s has published eight books and sold over 350,000 copies worldwide. 

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