Wednesday, 5 November 2014

#LDNTheatreBloggers meet-up at Soho Grind



Coffee cocktails at Soho Grind

The fabulous Rebecca from Official Theatre has started something very exciting for London-based (and those who don't mind travelling to the capital) theatre bloggers by regularly bringing them together for evenings of helpful info about blogging and theatre while enjoying delicious cocktails and chatting to like-minded people (point in case: the first gin-up and group outings to Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Autobahn and Sunny Afternoon).

The Official Theatre outings are always tremendous fun so when I received the invite for Monday's meet-up I immediately RSVP-ed even though I only arrived back in London the night before. I knew it'd be worth swapping an evening watching television from under my duvet - after all, I could always catch up on sleep (and my TV-shows) the rest of the week after work.

Though I work near Soho and often venture there for a bite to eat, I'd never actually been to Soho Grind before, the bar which was hired especially for the 30-odd theatre bloggers invited to the evening. While it was quite small, it was very cosy and the Prosecco reception definitely added to the appeal of the evening (not the mention the plentiful cheese and meat platters, which made for excellent dinner fare).


Some of the delicious meat and cheese platters laid out for us

While enjoying drinks and cheese I mingled with fellow theatre lovers; catching up with old faces and meeting new people as well, as the network of theatre bloggers is ever expanding. Before too long we were 'officially' welcomed with coffee cocktails (the bar's speciality) and a brief masterclass on how to make the drink. As a non-coffee drinker myself (I know, I know) I was given a different cocktail instead and while I don't remember the name, I loved the sweet strawberry concoction.

And we even got to make our own cocktails on the evening as well, though our team's name was once again already taken (and ended up winning!) by the time it was our turn. We need to learn to use our quiet voices.

The evening wasn't solely focused on consuming and making cocktails though, there was some 'serious' stuff discussed as well, including an interesting introduction by James from SeatPlan on the website's admirable intention of capturing regular people's comments (and pictures, where possible) of every seat in London theatres, to provide information to potential customers that isn't readily available yet.

After all, theatres often have different price ranks for their seats, but a cheaper price doesn't always mean the seat is bad (and the other way around too, some top price seats are not as good as others). So by including honest opinions from the regular public, it should make it easier for people to decide which tickets to buy to a play or show. I think it's a great idea as I'm always after finding a great seat for a fair prize and I hope many people will be leaving their reviews so SeatPlan can create a comprehensive database.


The cocktail we made, with subtle zesty decoration...

To top off what was already a fantastic night we were also treated to a beautiful acoustic set by Bity Booker, what a talented lady! If you enjoy listening to new music then I definitely recommend visiting her website for a free download of her digital album. It's worth checking out, I promise.

Anyway, long (blog) story short, I had a brilliant night with the #LDNTheatreBloggers, it's always a joy to get the chance to catch up with this lovely lot. Many thanks to Official Theatre and SeatPlan for fabulous evening!

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