I’ve recently been working at a ‘theatre above a pub venue’ in London. The pub is slightly off the beaten track, however it is popular – especially the outdoor benches in the fine weather we’re currently enjoying. The theatre (simple stage and seats) is predominantly a live music and stand-up comedy venue which is usually only used at the weekends. During the week, the place becomes a dreary, dull and empty shell with only tumble weed to be seen tumbling… but for a few little theatre goings on.
Most recently it has featured a couple of up starting theatre companies as well as new writing and poetry evenings. It is perfect for these theatre folk as the pub leases the space for free, as they wouldn’t be using it so much in the week anyway, plus it brings in punters meaning more pints pulled and hard earned cash in the till. The win-win situation is further instilled as the new companies can showcase their work and find support from the public without forking out hundreds of pounds for a space otherwise underused.
What a most triumphant example being set here and I only cry out for more of these win-win situations. I can’t count on one hand the amount of new companies I know who are struggling to find exposure due to a lack of funds – free venues during the week at pubs is the solution to this.
If you’re a regular drinker reading this (not alcoholic) – I’m sure most of you are these days (but, again, not alcoholic) then perhaps apply some pressure to the landlord’s and get inquisitive about how their upstairs empty venue is being used. Alternatively, give your mates a kick up the arse to go and see some good standard theatre which is the same price as a pint – what better way is there to spend a night out!?