Blackshaw’s Big One

This June saw Blackshaw run its first free event, and boy did we make it a corker. Held at The Selkirk, home to our recent WAFF show run, in Tooting Broadway we took advantage of their sunny beer garden and turned it into our very own festival venue; complete with bunting, fairy lights, and a smattering of deck chairs for good measure.


We had a cracking line up of both comedy and music to fill the day. All rounded off with a delightful little set from Blackshaw regulars The Bandits, who had the whole crowd dancing to the Hokey Cokey for their final song. An excellent choice you’ll agree.

The Bandits

The other acts were all super too.

Katerina Leah
Lizzie Fisher
Bandit The Panther
Phil Boothman
Barney Barron
Shoot from the Hip!
Steven Seller
Zak Thomas

Of course no festival themed day is complete without some home baking and face painting, both of which went down a treat, especially with our social events manager, Nick.



A big thank you to The Selkirk, who let us loose for the whole day, if you get a chance do go and enjoy the venue’s tasty, tasty food, I can highly recommend the cheese board.


We had a smashing day, we hope those of you who joined us did too. Make sure you keep your eyes on our twitter/facebook feeds for news of our autumn event – not to give too much away, but you could say it’s going to be the bomb. And we’re all going to get blitzed…Doing the jitterbug…it’s a 40’s themed event.

To see all the photos from this event, check out our Facebook and Twitter pages!

WAFF Double Bill Reviews so far

I’m thrilled with the reviews we’ve had so far for our double bill of London Pride and Audience with the Ghost Finder.  Rehearsals were brilliant fun and we were really pleased with the work, but you just never know quite how it’s going to feel for an audience.  You can have a looky look here and here to see what Stage to Page and The Public Reviews thought of the show.

Have you seen the production yet?  Let us know your brain thoughts on here, or facebook/twitter!

Tickets are still available for Weds 15th and Thurs 16th May via TicketWeb.

– Ellie

Audiences Behaving Badly

There was a lovely scheme running in Jan/Feb called ‘Get Into London Theatre’ (GILT).  An excellently crafted scheme whereby big West End productions offer heavily discounted tickets to their shows, the likes of which many could not otherwise afford (or justify…).  Audiences get to see things for cheaps, theatres get to boost the post-festive slump in sales – luring people out into the cold and dark, with the promise of shining lights and, let’s face it, a right bargain.

A few big shows had been on my wishlist for some time – The Lion King, Billy Elliot, Woman in Black, Singin’ in the Rain – all big, brash, tourist-magnet productions that I just wanted to indulge in, OK?!  I was pleased with the bargain prices I procured, I was excited about going to big, plush theatres: the red velvet seats, the bright lights, the glamour I remembered from rare trips to the theatre as a child.  TREATS.  It is with much regret (and not a little reticence), that I admit I was mostly disappointed.  It wasn’t so much the dead, alternately pained and vacant, look in the cast members’ eyes (long-running shows losing their lustre?  Another topic in itself.), but the audience.  The insufferable, loud, uncouth, uncontrollable and downright rude, audience.

A man behind me (a real, grown up, man) kicked my chair and scoffed popcorn, proffering comments on the salient points of The Lion King to his giggling girlfriend throughout.  “Mufasa is a badass, he’s totally going to f**k Scar up.”, “I want a beer, this bit’s boring, get me one?”, “What are those giant cows doing?” (It was an elephant).  People persisted in taking flash photography – even after being asked not to, and later, firmly reprimanded by Front of House staff.  A group of shrill American students full-on screamed their way through Woman in Black, treating me to a full analysis of why they had been frightened, for a full 30 seconds following each jumpy moment (I don’t know if you’ve seen it, but there are a lot of those).  Atmosphere, ruined.

Is this behaviour new, or did I just not notice it before? Am I becoming curmudgeonly?  Old before my time, a grumpy theatregoer?  I thought there was a recognised code of behaviour for theatre – not a rigid system of snobbish rules and classist restrictions – but a basic understanding that when the people on the stage are talking, those observing in the dark, are not.  Please do react to what’s happening – gasp in amazement, scream if you have to – but don’t indulge in conversation until the interval, or after the show.  That’s what an interval is for*.

Saying, that, Singin’ in the Rain was pure, unadulterated joy – see it if you can.

*And the ice-cream.