London boasts one of the best cultural scenes in the world while also being generally one of the busiest places on earth. This can make it hard to find the time to sample the best performances on offer at some of our world-leading theatres - especially if it takes up 3 hours and puts a huge dent in your wallet.
The solution? As previewed on here, a venue under London Bridge rail station might have found just the right way to approach this, with their 'A Play, A Pie and A Pint' series where each night they showcase a new short drama.
Turning up at Shunt Vaults at 6pm earlier tonight, it was odd to pop through a little door in the middle of a bright busy major rail station and step into a dark, secret encalve. Shepherded through to pick up my pie (goats cheese and sweet potato, thank you very much) and a glass of vino (I don't do pints), we all took our seats ready for the drama.
Total cost for the ticket, nosh and bevvy? £10. How's that for accessibile theatre?
The venue for the play was small, but the Vaults themselves are enormous and atmospheric, and there are some cool adaptions to it as you walk through the whole place. This particular short play was Crazy Love, and it was a smasher - a 60 minute knuckle-ride of great story-telling drama performed in front of us by three excellent women who took the audience with them, provoking laughter from all of us at some points and intense silence at others. We mopped it up (the drama, as well as the pies). It's been a while since this Londonista caught a play where you really cared what happened to the characters.
Afterwards we drank in the bar and disussed the play for ages - and as we left it was still only 8pm. And this review is being written at 9. So the night is still young. Ish.
Go to this if you can - other plays are on until 23 November. You should pre-book rather than just turn up, as there are more people who want to see the play than seats in the cosy venue within the Vaults. Besides, you wouldn't want to miss out on the lovely pie, either.
Pie sign pic from katerw's flickrstream