On Friday 14th June 2019, I made a special trip up to London for the opening of the new Theatre Cafe in London. I had an amazing time and took a few pictures along the way so I thought I would take the time to blog about my day and share my thoughts on the new Theatre Cafe!
Firstly, I should start by clarifying what The Theatre Cafe is. The original Theatre Cafe is on Shaftesbury Avenue in the West End in London. That’s where theatres like the Queen’s Theatre, the Gielgud Theatre and the Apollo Theatre are. It’s essentially a gorgeous little cafe with different west end related tables and decoy all around the cafe. You can buy tickets there, have a drink and a bite to eat and on certain days, they do open mic in which you can sing your favourite musical numbers.
I had begun to notice just how busy the little cafe was starting to get. You almost had to hang around inside a little bit before someone left their table or you’d have to ask very nicely if you could sit with another person who is currently at a table (not like that’s a bad thing or anything. It’s a good way to make friends.) So when I found out they were opening a bigger location elsewhere, I wasn’t surprised. What is equally lovely though is that the cafe on Shaftesbury Avenue will be remaining open so there are now two theatre cafes in London! Happy days for the musical theatre fans, aka me.
The new location is at 99 St Martins Lane which is very close to the likes of the Strand and Trafalgar Square. It’s another brilliant location and the inside of the cafe is absolutely stunning as well as significantly bigger than the other one but we’ll get to that later.
The folks at the Theatre Cafe had a competition going for 20 people to be guaranteed entry to the newest Theatre Cafe, seats right near the front of the open mic stage and goody bags full of west end merchandise. Miraculously, I was one of those 20 people who managed to win that competition. So off I went to London on 14th June 2019 for an afternoon full of west end goodness.
I headed to my local train station to get to London for approximately 3pm. As the afternoon wasn’t due to start until 4pm, I decided to walk from the station to the cafe. This took me about 35 minutes and it was an absolutely gorgeous walk.
I had to go through St James’ Park and down the Mall right near Buckingham Palace which as you can see is absolutely stunning. I ended up going the wrong way which meant I had to make my way through the park in order to end up on the Mall. It wasn’t the end of the world though as you can see from the pictures above.
I then made my way down the Mall towards Trafalgar Square. I always love the hustle and bustle of Trafalgar Square. You’ve got the National Art Gallery overlooking the square, with many buskers entertaining the crowds as you walk past. I mean, I got to see Mickey Mouse so my day was made.
Soon, I reached the new location of the Theatre Cafe. As you can see, it’s right next to the Duke of York’s Theatre so as I mentioned before it’s a perfect location. As soon as I got there, the heavens opened for about 10 minutes and I was an absolute wally and forgot to take an umbrella.
Way to go, Beth. Way to go.
The crowds outside the Theatre Cafe were absolutely huge. You had press coming down to see the cafe for the first time, the competition winners and of course the public, who were allowed in after. There was a real vibe about the crowd which I really liked. Everyone there shared the same interest of musical theatre and it was amazing to be there and witness it.
Soon, one of my favourite musical theatre stars arrived to officially open the Theatre Cafe. Rachel Tucker. She is known for portraying Elphaba in ‘Wicked’ and you can currently see her in ‘Come From Away’ as Beverley and Annette as well as few unnamed characters. She is absolutely gorgeous and such a funny person.
Rachel declared the cafe open and soon, everyone gathered inside.
So, as I’ve said previously, the newest Theatre Cafe is a lot bigger compared to the original one. As you step inside, there are quite a few tables towards the front, with various displays of popular west end shows such as ‘Come From Away’, ‘Six’ and ‘Wicked.’ You then get to the area in which all of your drink and food are displayed. As you walk past that, you head to the back of the cafe where the open mic stand is, as well as more displays of west end shows, more tables and seats and a toilet.
As you can see from the pictures, there are displays to do with ‘Dear Evan Hansen’, ‘Cursed Child’, ‘Everybody’s Talking About Jamie’ and more. It’s a superbly decorated cafe that feels modern inside and yet stays true to its purpose.
The afternoon’s events soon started with Rachel Tucker performing ‘Me and the Sky’ from ‘Come From Away’. She is absolutely incredible and I had absolute chills watching her when she was just a metre or so away from me. I was absolutely taken aback by her beauty and her ability to command the room expertly with her voice and presence. She is amazing.
We then were entertained by a Q&A afterwards. Rachel got very emotional talking about ‘Come From Away’ which is honestly very relatable as I cry every time I listen to the soundtrack. I promise I’ll do a review of that show very soon on my blog because everyone needs to appreciate it.
After that, my friends (who I met on the day actually) and I managed to get a quick picture with Rachel as she was leaving. That’s the beauty of musical theatre and a place like this. You can walk in being complete strangers and walk out being friends for a lifetime.
I then received my west end goody bag which I didn’t open until I got home but I’ll briefly talk about it now. I got 3 posters from Company, School of Rock and Wicked. The reason why they’re rolled up in the picture above is because I’m saving them for when I go to university. I got a coaster from ‘The Comedy About a Bank Robbery’ with the most amazing pun on it. I also received a mini mirror with ‘Thriller Live’ on it, an Oyster card holder from ‘The Lion King’, a mini card with ‘Tina’ on it and three pens from ‘Company’, ‘The Lion King’ and “Come From Away.’ It’s an amazing goody bag and I am very grateful.
It was then time to head home after an amazing afternoon. I got a tube back to Victoria because… well, effort and had a Costa.
Can we just appreciate the shed in Victoria? Gosh, it’s so pretty.
Soon, my train left and it was time to say goodbye to London until the next time.
I urge anyone and everyone to visit the new Theatre Cafe in London. All of the staff are very friendly and lovely people. The displays are incredible. The vibe is one not to miss out on and the drinks and food on offer are very tasty. Thank you to the Theatre Cafe for running this competition and allowing me to experience the opening of this amazing new location. I will definitely be back soon!