Bourne And Hollingsworth, an erstwhile department store on Oxford Street, has been recalled to life as a snug basement speakeasy at the foot of Charlotte Street. Why? Who cares. It's one of those word-of-mouth Narnia places that would normally only exist if you weren't looking for it.
Last night, hundreds of people were looking for it. The powers of Facebook had conjured up a crowd to witness the first Fitzrovia Radio Hour.
The idea was to create a 1930's-style radio play inside the granny-flat-cum-bar that is B&H. A lucky dozen took their seats around the fireplace while the rest of us jostled at the back. The chosen play was the Musgrave Ritual, a Sherlock Holmes adventure, deliciously bookended by unsubtle adverts for bromoquinine tablets. Yes, bromoquinine tablets, for a cold. That's B-R-O-M-...
Three men and a spindly lady exclaimed and ejaculated their way (in the Victorian sense) through the script, using whatever came to hand for sound effects - a bucket, crushed rice, a cheek. Spindly lady was, at one point, described as 'full of spunk', which we guess is another Victorian definition, despite titters from the crowd.
It's one of those artsy things you'll want to boast about discovering. The play was as well received as the pronunciation and as compact as a gentleman's snuff box. All good stuff, and worth getting there early for the sequel on March 3, as many folk were turned away last night.
This post was brought to you in association with bromoquinine tablets. At the first sign of a cold, ask for bromoquinine tablets. With thanks to Glitterditch.
Bourne and Hollingsworth is somewhere around Charlotte and Percy streets. It would remove all the magic if we told you where.