I go to the theatre on average around twice a week. Every week. Some weeks I have been known to go five nights in a row. I am not alone. Even in the dimly lit theatre auditoriums of London, I see people. I know their faces; I’ve seen them before and no doubt I will see them again… Far from alone, there is in fact a group of us (often lone rangers) frequenting the theatre as often as we can, soaking up as much vibrancy and culture as we can and subsequently turning our thoughts and opinions into written (or spoken) word. We are theatre bloggers. Many of you out there may agree that the theatrical industry can be a lonely place. Many times I have sensed a distance, or even a rivalry with people who essentially have the same interest as me. Weird. As creative opinion is continually under threat, with 2013 being the year of the sacked theatre critic and with the recent demise of blogging site What’s Peen Seen, I felt that it was time to take some action. Who are these people hanging out in dark theatre foyers casting cursory looks at passers by? I don’t know but I want to! Surely if we were to introduce ourselves and become friends (on a business level at the very least) then we would have a chance at weathering the storm on independent writers? Feeling somewhat thirsty from all my pondering, the perfect solution popped into my mind; “GIN!”
The Curious Gincident of the Bloggers in the Night-Time
On behalf of Official Theatre.com, I invited (GIN-vited – yep, gin based puns were the theme of the night!) as many theatre bloggers as I could find for a networking event, cloaked in the disguise of a “gin-tasting” masterclass by the fabulous Martin Millers and hosted in trendy London cocktail bar, Central & Co. Mwhaha. Come for gin/ *cough*bemyfriends*cough* And along they came, just shy of 40 creative, like minded writers all in the same room mingling (GIN-gling!) Hurray! Success! So having fed my curiosity with finally being able to put names to faces and blogs we set about discussing the issue at hand: how can we work together to create a unifying force in West End and Fringe Theatre. Ideas were spread, but before we got too serious, out came the gin (holllllaaa!)
After sampling the rather fabulous Martin Miller’s gin, courtesy of mega babe Miller man Aiden, we were ready for some more alcohol based action! Having split into groups of 6, my new found besties tried their hand at cocktail creation. Fueled with the chance to win a magnum (no really….a MAGNUM) of gin, the teams worked their hardest to create the perfect theatrical themed interval cocktail.
- Let The Right One Gin – A short fruity gin based concoction served with orange rind and blueberries.
- Strawberry Swing – Also a fruity gin based cocktail. This one was served long with plenty of ice and with a strawberry garnish.
- The Book of More Gin – Like its namesake, The Book of Mormon, this cocktail knocked your socks off with one sip! Served short and with some lovely caramel flavours offsetting the gin, this cocktail would be the perfect way to get someone drunkety drunk drunk.
- The Ginterval – A delightfully refreshing cucumber and gin blend. Served long with ice, this could be an exciting summer alternative to a G&T (plus it matched my outfit!)
- The Curious Gincident of the Blog in the Night-Time – A perfectly named cocktail that sort of tasted like skittles with bitters. Mm!
Myself and Aiden has the somewhat arduous (HA!) task of tasting the cocktails. On consulting with the Central & Co bartender, Eric, we reached a unanimous decision. The Curious Gincident of the Blog in the Night-Time won the booby prize (shots of….GIN!) for best named cocktail but the winner of the evening was (blog based drum roll…….) THE GINTERVAL! Seriously I’d drink those babies on tap (can somebody make that happen right now?!) A big well done to the team behind the taste: Starling Arts, Everything Theatre, The Middle Peg Review, One in a Long Line of Good Girls and Fashion Scholar! Here is a cheeky snap of them enjoying their bounty, a friggin’ MAGNUM of GIN!
Cheese and Wine makes You Feel Fine (Oh, and theatre talk)
Okay so the evening wasn’t all about gin (just most of it) – after the cocktail making revelry was over we got back on topic with a brainstorming session of how we can help one another with our websites. We all had a good old chinwag and many ideas were bounced, including trialing a “sharing and caring” vibe for June. We all agreed to tweet and retweet content from each others blogs in the hope of growing our traffic, our public profile and our followers. From this, #LDNTheatreBloggers was born! Hurrah!
So after some oh so modern discussions of how we would make our content known to one another (being that we can’t include EVERYONE EVERS twitter handle when tweeting) we decided to create a hashtag to make it easier to find our theatre based blog content. After channelling Lily Allen and toying with getting ultra hip and adding a “Z”, we quickly realised no-one else would see the irony…we settled on #LDNTheatreBloggers, simple. So please do peruse twitter for this hashtag to gain access to some great theatre reviews, insights and general musings. Do it!
Lets Get Together and Feel Alright
We had a FABULOUS night meeting new people with which we shared some key interests! Now we are a friendly bunch at OfficialTheatre.com, and we discovered that #LDNTheatreBloggers are very friendly too, not to mention a hoot and a howl. For us this wasn’t just a one time GINcident (#sorrynotsorry) and we desperately want to organise more events and bring EVEN more theatre bloggers together! SO please do get in touch with me via email: firstname.lastname@example.org and I will add you to our list (which may also mean invites to networking events, theatre trips and access to our spare tickets!) In the mean time please do check out #LDNTheatreBloggers on twitter for amazing theatre content and a whole world of inappropriate puns! United together in our passion for the stage I hope we can generate a big, booming voice for London Theatre. Oh hey Theatre Land, you listening?!