Our new theatre mural has been unveiled at the TKTS ticket booth in Leicester Square.
The large-scale artwork, designed by illustrator Rob Cowan and commissioned by us, contains many of the West End’s historic theatres and other famous sights, with characters from current and forthcoming West End shows hidden amongst the crowds.
Our mural will be on display until 30 August across the north-facing wall of the TKTS ticket booth at the heart of the West End, allowing visitors to spot their favourite theatre characters – and some well-known industry figures.
An interactive version of the mural is also available, allowing theatre fans to find and click on the hidden characters. Until 31 August, every character found earns participants one entry into a prize draw for £500 of Theatre Tokens, which can be used to buy tickets at TKTS and in over 250 theatres nationwide.
The mural has already had some West End stars coming to spot themselves!
We caught up with Rob, the mural’s illustrator, to ask him about the process and if there are any hidden gems to be on the look-out for!
How would you describe your style of work?
My illustrations are digitally coloured and they centre around the art of storytelling. My illustrations are always character driven and contain multiple narratives and vignettes aiming to keep the viewer occupied for hours on end, making new discoveries each time they revisit it.
Where did you start on such an ambitious project?
I began by blocking out the composition with cubes, moving them around like a puzzle. I then drew all the theatres individually in detail before putting them together in one large file. Next I added the taxis, buses, lampposts, etc before finally adding the many characters and people.
It took about a month to come up with a composition, and then about three months of solid drawing to create the final mural in all its detail.
Have you done murals like this before?
I have created quite a few murals over the past two years, but none in quite as much detail as this one!
I created a series of three murals in Corsham, Wiltshire and a huge 96m mural running through a park in Droitwich Spa. I am currently working on a mural in Milton Keynes hospital to brighten up a ward and create a distraction from the stress of being in hospital.
How does it feel to see your work across the TKTS booth?
It’s amazing to see my work on such a large scale on the TKTS booth, in the heart of the West End.
I spent a lot of time in this area as an art student, even working nights in a 24- hour café just off Leicester Square. I could never have imagined that a piece of my work would be on display at its centre!
Any easter eggs hidden in the mural?
As well as the cast from West End shows, there are also leading industry professionals hiding within the streets.
My family can also be found lurking in the shadows and I grace the mural with my own appearance twice! It has also become a tradition in all my illustrations to have a pigeon or two, and this mural is no exception!
What is your favourite part of the mural?
I really like the West End LIVE part in Trafalgar Square. I tend to learn something new in each project I work on, and this was the first time I had drawn a packed festival crowd!
What character do you think is the hardest to spot?
I think the cast from Edward II might be the hardest to spot.
Where else can we see your incredible work?
My other work can be seen on walls around the country or more easily on my website.
The TKTS Theatre Mural will be up at the Leicester Square booth until 30 August. The Theatre Tokens online mural competition will close on the 31 August.