Drinks and theatre, two of my passions (don’t ask me to give you a preference!). So much so that I often try to go to the theatre an hour or so before the show starts so that I can scope out the area and find a nice place to relax and unwind with a drink. Ideally I’d love to get that two hours earlier and sample some food, but you don’t always get chance for that unfortunately (damn having a day job). In this case I was booked in to see Barbarians at the Young Vic theatre in Southwark. The play itself was directed by the latest JMK Award Winner Liz Stevenson and is set in Lewisham, a stone’s throw from my digs in Bermondsey. So as I managed to grab a press ticket I thought why not take advantage of the accompanying free drink and check out the bar?
The Cut Bar itself is very in keeping with the Young Vic’s ethos – a modern and slightly alternative space where you can choose between sitting on chairs or sitting on cardboard boxes and everything seems to be made of MDF but in a cool and modern kind of way. You wander in and get the feeling of loftiness and space even though it’s not actually that big a venue; the concrete arches and painted brickwork give the illusion of a cavernous converted warehouse. The bar and restaurant areas are all in the same space – the intimate tables of two set out by the windows were filled with first date couples, networking drinks and creative brainstorms aplenty.
I took the wise decision of securing myself a spot before going to the bar, which was lucky considering the group of theatregoers that entered about 2 minutes after me. Not a lot of choice on the menu I have to say, but I was in a white wine mood to accompany me whilst sitting on my own and taking in my surroundings. Well, if it’s good enough for Carrie Bradshaw to sit there without a phone or a book or her assortment of armour, it’s good enough for me! £7 for a large glass of Pinot Grigio sounds steep, but it’s fairly typical of a theatre bar in London. Not being a sommelier myself, I can tell you that it was crisp and sharp without being overly dry. I could not inform on whether there were notes of citrus, freshly cut grass or month old cheese I’m afraid (I have made these up, I hope that’s not how wine is actually described).
So there I was, sat on my own on a communal table in a converted MDF warehouse-esque venue with glass in hand, listening to lounge piano music with an occasional twist. It was all very creatively inspiring. Maybe I will try a spot of food here next time, but more than likely I’ll pop along to one of the many restaurants around Southwark instead – there’s some gems around there that I’m sure I’ll tell you about at some point!
P.S If you want to know what I thought about the play, check out A Younger Theatre