Monday, August 22, 2011

Boston and Brigadoon: The Gift of Lightning at Waterloo East Theatre

I was pleased to see a new venue, Waterloo East Theatre, listed on the Remotegoat list of venues. The play sounded a bit 'different', too - about a young Irishman whose life is changed when he's struck by lightning. Must be all the influence of all those blockbusters I see at Cineworld that attracted me. In fact, I think it was the proximity to Waterloo Station.

Sure enough, it was only a short walk up a street called Alaska, opposite the Waterloo Road entrance. As we arrived, at the same time as a jolly crowd of thirty-somethings, we even spotted a nearby pub to get a drink when we came out.

The theatre foyer was tiny, with a spiral staircase up to a balcony - but access to the theatre was off the foyer beside the quaintly-named 'Wet Bar' - no beer on pumps, but they served nicely chilled white wine and, according to my companion,a pleasant red, as well as the usual range.

The box office and bar staff were very welcoming, as you'd expect on a press night. Press nights are good for spotting celebrity thesps who attend to support their fellow actors. The downside is they laugh like hyenas and try to instigate standing ovations even when they aren't quite justified.

As it happened,The Gift of Lightning was thought-provoking as well as enjoyable and I gave it four stars in my review

The venue had about three times as many seats as the nearby the Union Street theatre, arranged in rows. I prefer the intimacy of theatre in the round, but in the Waterloo Rast's coffin-shaped space this would be well-nigh impossible

The play itself was short, giving us time to try for the pub, but it was so crammed and so noisy that once again we ended up in the basement bar called The Wellesley, on the main concourse of Waterloo Station

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