You may have noticed the conspicuous absence of Underbelly's upside-down purple cow, Violet, on the South Bank this summer.
That might have something to do with the fact the award-winning cabaret, variety and music producers are busy getting a new permanent home in Soho ready for opening this September.
We say new; Underbelly will lease the former Boulevard Theatre (a swish venue that opened in 2019, and was done for by the pandemic soon after), with the 200-capacity new-not-new venue being renamed Underbelly Boulevard. A steady stream of quality acts — among Underbelly's recent hits have been Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club, La Clique Live in Leicester Square and Austentatious at The Fortune Theatre — will perform at the venue, which will also feature a bar and a 100-cover restaurant. Its most exciting feature though, surely, is a rotating stage, which should work a treat for cabaret shows (less so stand up comedians).
The Boulevard Theatre itself wasn't actually 'new' in 2019; it first opened in the late 1950s as the Elle et Lui theatre, and later on as the Boulevard, staged shows from The Comic Strip, as well as Eddie Izzard’s Raging Bull comedy club. The venue, then, has a long legacy of entertaining folks — and here's to that continuing in its latest guise. We doubt, however, that the building will be reconstructed to the dimensions of an upended friesian.
Underbelly Boulevard opens sometime in September 2023