A new, cutting-edge new venue, The Boulevard Theatre, is coming soon to Soho, a part of a £40m redevelopment of Walker’s Court “the none-too-salubrious Soho alley once dominated by “world centre of erotic entertainment” the Raymond Revuebar. The Guardian covered the news, saying,” The Boulevard takes its name from a former sister venue to the striptease club, which was part of porn baron Paul Raymond’s empire. As well as staging drama, the original Boulevard became a beer-soaked home to the Comic Strip group of comedians. The stylish new theatre opens to the public later this month with Ghost Quartet, a haunting song cycle by the American composer Dave Malloy, who had a recent Broadway hit with Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812.”
The Guardian continues to note that,”Meanwhile, the restaurant walls have been freshly painted pink, the piano is newly installed in the bar and a layer of lace has been laid within the glass bridge that connects the theatre to its box office across the alley and also offers theatregoers a colourful view up bustling Berwick Street market. “Endless” conversations about the theatre’s seating have resulted in a handsome assemblage of freestanding chairs, currently dotted around a revolvable stage. “The challenge was to find something beautiful … yet stackable,” says artistic director Rachel Edwards, looking down at her new home from the balcony, which is itself revolvable.
The intimate Boulevard, with a seating capacity of 165, is “my ideal size of theatre” says Edwards, who hopes that the many configurations possible in this tiny but super-flexible new space means audiences will be surprised each time they arrive. Ghost Quartet will be presented in-the-round, with some audience members sharing a lowered inner circle of the stage with the cast of four. Due to its size, most Boulevard shows will have fewer than half a dozen actors, says Edwards. The Cavalcaders, a play by Billy Roche to be directed by Kathy Burke, has a cast of six, the largest in the opening season. “It feels like we’re doing 42nd Street,” she laughs.
Edwards says Ghost Quartet is a fitting opener because “at its heart it’s about what stories are, how we tell them and receive them.” And, without a doubt at the heart of Soho is a ingrained history of story-telling, yarn-spinning and gold old carousing.
To find out more and book tickets visit: https://boulevardtheatre.co.uk/