Are female theatre fans being served by existing institutions? New company Part of the Night is taking theatre out of its old domains and bringing it to a new space: pubs and clubs. Launching at the Old Red Lion in Islington on June 17, these immersive experiences will encourage people of all genders to feel comfortable, social and adventurous on a night out.
Part of the Night’s project begins on June 17 with their launch event Theatre On Tap: a 24 Hour Creative Challenge. Three teams of women and nonbinary writers, directors, and performers will embark on a twenty-four hour challenge to create three new short pieces of theatre.
The twist? All three pieces will be created for and performed in the Old Red Lion Pub. Although Old Red Lion has a reputation for supporting theatre in its upstairs venue, Part of the Night will bring the drama downstairs into the main pub space for the first time.
Theatre On Tap brings together London’s most promising theatre talent including: Madeline Gould, whose one-woman show Ladykiller recently played to sold out audiences at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival; Guleraana Mir, Offie-nominated writer of the play Coconut; and award-winning gig theatre company Burnt Lemon whose breakout piece The Half Moon Shania, told in the style of a live music gig, won Best Musical at the Edinburgh Fringe. With an eclectic lineup of creators – including directors and actors to be announced – the evening promises to bring all types of live arts fans together for an evening of surprises.
In the last twelve years, the UK has seen significant closures of pubs and clubs. Younger generations are opting for alternative experiences over traditional nightlife options. Sexual harassment remains a major barrier to women and LGBTQ+ individuals. Eventbrite data shows that women go out less and spend less on nights out, and it’s not hard to imagine why. A night out will never be casual or carefree when free admission for ladies is just a marketing technique to get the other sex through the door.
But what if your pub night was guaranteed to bring you together with other women there for the exact same reason as you? 65% of theatre ticket buyers in the UK are women. Women care more about a can’t-miss event than the potential partners who might be there.
Part of the Night was founded by Olivia Munk and Jessica Bickel-Barlow, who have collaborated on female-led theatre through their company Part of the Main since 2017. Their four-star 2018 Edinburgh Fringe production, The Squirrel Plays by Mia McCullough, explored the American reproductive rights debate through the metaphor of a squirrel infestation. Together with artists and audiences, Munk and Bickel-Barlow are on a mission to make everyone feel like a part of the night.
Theatre on Tap: A 24-Hour Creative Challenge is at The Old Red Lion Theatre on June 17th, 6.45 and 9pm. Tickets available via the Old Red Lion’s website.