This Independent Theatre Isn’t Afraid To Branch Out From The Norm

Take a break from the West End and head to Islington to catch a show at Pleasance Theatre.

This un-funded charity knows its stuff when it comes to putting on a top-notch performance. Pleasance opened its doors back in 1995 and is known for its excellent theatre and laugh-out-loud comedy. In the past, Michael McIntyre, Russell Brand, Micky Flanagan, Mark Watson, Adam Hills and Mark Thomas have all regularly complimented the comedy programme. By visiting Pleasance, you’re guaranteeing an evening of laughs.

The goal of Pleasance is variety, and that spans between putting on some well-loved classics to new shows that break the boundaries. It’s one of the few theatres in London where, if you’re an independent company, you can send over a script or idea and it may end up on stage.

In the Main House you can watch some of the best touring theatre (specifically from companies and organisations based outside of London), as well as quality children’s theatre, and inventive new productions of musicals and plays. It’s also where you’ll find regular performances by some of the biggest names in comedy. Venture into the Downstairs Space and the StageSpace to watch some especially affordable and flexible theatre from the talent of the future.

There are plenty of shows ready to tap their toes at Pleasance so we’ve done the hard work and picked out a few of our favourites. First up is Ali and Dahlia: a Palestinian-Israeli love story set against the backdrop of the construction of the West Bank wall. It’s a story of love, sacrifice, and redemption that explores the loss of innocence, the longing for lost homelands, and the political forces that shape our lives. And it’s also directed by multiple award-winner Kerry Kyriacos Michael MBE.

Some of our other upcoming favourites include Night Of The Living Dead, which is guaranteed to capture your attention until the end, and Don’t Look Away: a powerful new production of compassion and an investigation into our collective response to the international refugee crisis. You can find the full list of what’s showing soon here.

But a trip to the theatre wouldn’t be complete without a fancy cocktail to start the evening. And for that, your best bet is to wander downstairs to the cosy bar for a Grand Marnier cocktail or two. The Pleasance Theatre’s bar was refurbished at the beginning of the year and serves as a bustling hub of creativity for up and coming theatre-makers.

Designed with a contemporary, industrial aesthetic, the walls are lined with play scripts and two bespoke light boxes showcase a who’s who of past performers. It’s got a perfect-for-Instagram backdrop and a chance to learn more about the history of the actors. Nestled away behind Caledonian Road, the Pleasance Theatre’s bar is only a stone’s throw from King’s Cross, yet remains one of north London’s best-kept secrets.

This article was sponsored by Grand Marnier. We recommend starting your evening at the theatre with a delicious Grand Marnier cocktail at the Pleasance Theatre bar. Try The Grand Sidecar: the signature classic cocktail for Grand Marnier. Truly refreshing and perfectly balanced, the Grand Sidecar combines the citrus notes of Grand Marnier Cordon Rouge bitter orange liqueur with the intensity of cognac. 18+ only. Please drink responsibly. For all the facts, visit drinkaware.co.uk. Check out Grand Marnier on Instagram and grandmarnier.com.

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Also published on Medium.

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