What we're about

The idea is simple – just getting together a few people to see plays and independent / interesting films, in Islington and Hackney (and, once in a while, sneaky jaunts further afield). You don’t need to be local – we have people from near and far. For each outing there will be plans to have something to eat or drink beforehand or afterward – do join in. Key places are:

• theatres – the Almeida, the Arcola, Park Theatre, the King’s Head, the Hope, the Barbican, the Old Red Lion, the Rosemary Branch, the Hen & Chickens, the Pleasance
• cinemas – the Rio, the Barbican, Hackney Picturehouse, Rich Mix.

Numbers really count in this group, because it’s large (London’s biggest theatre group!) but events are small enough to be friendly and to integrate new people. This works by having members commit to turning up when they RSVP, and not coming unless they’re RSVPed. Sadly this group can’t any longer do casual drop-outs and drop-ins (though last-minute RSVPs are always welcome).

This makes the group a brilliant one to belong to – because we’re big and our numbers are definite, our events fill up to the optimum size and there’s always a diverse, stimulating mix of people. Our RSVP numbers reflect reality (an event with 16 RSVPs will have 16 people – not 6), and our events fit into a bookable space. It means when you come you’ll get a seat for dinner/drinks (because no one will have gate-crashed and taken it) – and you’ll meet lots of interesting people (because they will turn up!)

When you join this group an RSVP is a promise to turn up (and stay for the social part of the event), and joining is a promise to come only if you’re RSVPed.

There’s no requirement to attend any particular number of events with the group, or to pay anything to join.

If you’re thinking of sending me a message promoting an event, then unless it’s a local play/film and either heavily discounted or includes a director/writer/cast Q&A, don’t – thanks. This is a zero-spam group – I keep faith with members by circulating nothing except legitimate event details.

(Curtain image by Jonathan Graves; CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/))

Upcoming events (5)

Top Girls – at the National Theatre

National Theatre

“‘Now hiring: top girls wanted for prestige positions. Must be self-motivated go-getters with an appetite for success. No time-wasters.’ “Marlene is the first woman to head the Top Girls employment agency. But she has no plans to stop there. With Maggie in at Number 10 and a spirit of optimism consuming the country, Marlene knows that the future belongs to women like her.” – from the National Theatre website (https://www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/shows/top-girls) “What strikes one most...is its vivid timeliness, in a world where isolated female success still obscures the plight of the majority.” ★★★★ – Michael Billington, Guardian, on the Minerva production (https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2011/jul/04/top-girls-review) “The play, first staged in 1982, strikes me as a modern classic. It’s often splendidly funny and inventive, and, by the end, deeply moving, too.” ★★★★ – Charles Spencer, Telegraph, on the Minerva production (https://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/theatre/theatre-reviews/8611489/Top-Girls-Minerva-Chichester-review.html) “Churchill’s 1982 ‘Top Girls’ still stings in the Trump era” – Washington Post, on the Keegan Theatre production (https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/theater_dance/churchills-1982-top-girls-still-stings-in-the-trump-era/2017/11/08/a94410d0-c488-11e7-afe9-4f60b5a6c4a0_story.html) One of the most noteworthy plays of the twentieth century, and selected for the NT2000 (https://www.oughttobeclowns.com/the-nt2000-top-100-plays/). Please book your own seat direct with the theatre (https://www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/shows/top-girls). Also, if you’re open to sitting next to another member, feel free to mention your seat number (and whether gallery, circle or pit) in the comments below, for group members who may want to book a neighbouring seat. My seat is circle D20. We will meet at 6.15 p.m. for dinner before the performance in the Terrace Restaurant (https://www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/your-visit/food-and-drink/terrace-restaurant), and for a brief drink there again after the performance. This event is for people who will be joining us either for drinks before or after the play, or both. I’ve placed a limit of 10 attendees on this event, to keep numbers manageable. Because of the limit, it’s important that the people who RSVP do come – otherwise they’re excluding people who would have come. For that reason, don’t RSVP until you’ve bought a ticket (after first checking that this Meetup event isn’t already fully subscribed) and you’re certain you will be coming. You will need to make a note in your RSVP with your order number (from your confirmation e-mail) and your dinner and drinks plans. If you forget to do that at the time, you can add the missing details at any time by re-RSVPing and entering them when you do. In the days immediately prior, I’ll circulate details of arrangements to meet before the performance.

The Glass Menagerie – at the Arcola Theatre

The Arcola Theatre

“‘How beautiful it is – and how easily it can be broken.’ Summer, 1937. Austerity turns up the pressure on the people of St Louis, for none more so than its African-American community. Crowded amongst the tenements, Amanda Wingfield demands that her two children will lead a better life. Femi Elufowoju jr. directs a radical new interpretation of Tennessee Williams’ shattering play.” – from the Arcola Theatre website (https://www.arcolatheatre.com/event/the-glass-menagerie/) Elufowoju jr. was awarded Best Director in the Offies 2019 for his previous Arcola production The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives. “Nothing short of spectacular” ★★★★★ – the Guardian, on Elufowoju jr.’s The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives (https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2018/jun/14/the-secret-lives-of-baba-segis-wives-review-arcola-london) “Fresh, entertaining and exuberant” ★★★★ – WhatsOnStage, on Elufowoju jr.’s The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives (https://www.whatsonstage.com/london-theatre/reviews/secret-lives-of-baba-segis-wives-arcola_46838.html) We will stay on for drinks after the performance, at Acqua 7 (http://www.acqua7.com) (7 Balls Pond Road, N1 4AX). This event is for people who will be joining us for drinks. If you won’t be staying, please don’t RSVP. This is a Meetup, so it’s for people who are definitely going to be meeting up! You will need to confirm your post-theatre plans in your RSVP. Please book your own seat direct with the theatre (https://www.arcolatheatre.com/book/?bookingId=01-2018%3A114&eventId=31972, then select 8 June 19:30). Also, if you’re open to sitting next to another member, feel free to mention your seat number (and whether ground floor or balcony) in the comments below, for group members who may want to book a neighbouring seat. My seat is ground floor A16. I’ve placed a limit of 16 attendees on this event, to keep numbers manageable. Because of the limit, it’s important that the people who RSVP do come – otherwise they’re excluding people who would have come. For that reason, don’t RSVP until you’ve bought a ticket (after first checking that this Meetup event isn’t already fully subscribed) and you’re certain you will be coming. You will need to make a note in your RSVP with your order number (from your confirmation e-mail) and your drinks plans. This is essential for every RSVP. If you forget to do that at the time, you can add the missing details at any time by re-RSVPing and entering them when you do. Please contribute £1 on arrival (to help defray the approx. $180 per annum that Meetup charges to run a group) – thanks in advance. In the days immediately prior, I’ll circulate details of arrangements to meet before the performance.

White Pearl – at the Royal Court Theatre

Royal Court Theatre

“‘It’s just a fun ad. Now the whole world is going crazy.’ “In Singapore, Clearday™ has developed from a small start-up company to a leading international cosmetic brand in less than a year. “But when a draft of the company’s latest skin cream advert is leaked, the video goes viral globally for all the wrong reasons. “YouTube views are in the thousands and keep climbing; anger is building on social media; and journalists are starting to cover the story. This is an international PR nightmare; the company cannot be seen to be racist, and they’ve got to get it taken down before America wakes up.” – from the Royal Court Theatre website (https://royalcourttheatre.com/whats-on/whitepearl/) “White Pearl is a little gem... a bracingly funny corporate satire” ★★★★ – Michael Billington, Guardian (https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2019/may/17/white-pearl-review-royal-court-london-anchuli-felicia-king-singapore-beauty-industry) “A machine gun of a play... it has a boldness, ambition and acerbic humour on a scale that makes you sit up and pay attention” ★★★★ – Time Out (https://www.timeout.com/london/theatre/white-pearl-review) “It's different and clever and useful, and horribly good fun” ★★★★★ – Libby Purves, Theatre Cat (https://theatrecat.com/) “Almost every line whip-cracks through the air and leaves a welt” ★★★★ – The Upcoming (https://www.theupcoming.co.uk/2019/05/17/white-pearl-at-the-royal-court-theatre-theatre-review/) We will have dinner before the play, at 6 p.m. in the theatre cafe-bar. We will stay on to have drinks after the performance, again in the theatre cafe-bar (https://royalcourttheatre.com/your-visit/bar/). This event is for people who will be joining us for dinner or for drinks (or, even better, both). If you won’t be staying, or if you only have time to stop briefly, please don’t RSVP. You will need to advise your dinner and drinks plans in your RSVP. This is essential for every RSVP. Please book your own seat direct with the theatre (https://royalcourttheatre.com/whats-on/whitepearl/, then select 14 June 19:30). Also, if you’re open to sitting next to another member, feel free to mention your seat number (and whether stalls or balcony) in the comments below, for group members who may want to book a neighbouring seat. My seat is stalls J11. You will need to make a note in the RSVP question boxes with your order number (not seat number), dinner and drinks plans. This is essential for every RSVP. If you forget to do it at the time, you can add the missing details at any time by re-RSVPing and entering them when you do. Please contribute £1 on arrival (to help defray the approx. $180 per annum that Meetup charges to run a group) – thanks in advance. In the days immediately prior to our event, I’ll circulate details of arrangements to meet before the performance.

The Hunt – at the Almeida Theatre

Almeida Theatre

£37.00

“’We are a small community. The happiness of our children is everything. Our hopes and dreams rest in these tiny souls.’ In a small town in northern Denmark, the children celebrate Harvest Festival. In the forest by the water the men of the lodge stand naked in the cold. This is their country. This is their song. In the shadows a lonely child gives a strange man her heart. The hunt begins. Almeida artistic director Rupert Goold directs The Hunt by David Farr (The Night Manager, Spooks), based on the critically acclaimed Danish film thriller Jagten.” – from the Almeida website (https://almeida.co.uk/whats-on/the-hunt/17-jun-2019-3-aug-2019) We will have dinner before the play, at 6 p.m. at Galley (https://www.galleylondon.co.uk/), a few minutes’ walk from the theatre. I will require your committed pre-order for dinner by 12 noon the day before. We will also have drinks and dessert after the play, at new restaurant Slaw (https://www.slawfood.com/), a minute’s walk from the theatre. This event is for people who will be joining for dinner or drinks/dessert or (even better!) both. If you won’t be joining, please don’t RSVP. All tickets for this event must be purchased with the Meetup group via this page. If you purchase your ticket direct with the theatre you will not be able to join our group event. We have an allocation of 16 seats available to members for purchase, at the price levels of 4 x A tickets at £45.50 (of which 2 remain), 2 x B tickets at £37 (of which 2 remain), 6 x D tickets at £23 (of which 4 remain), and 4 x E tickets at £13 (of which 1 remains) – the price includes £1.50 to cover Paypal fees, £1 to cover annual Meetup fees, and £0.50 to contribute to the £60 annual cost of Almeida membership (without which I could not buy tickets to host Almeida events). Our seats are stalls A13–A16 for price level A, stalls D5, D25 for price level B, stalls G9, G11, G17, G19, H11, H12 for price level D, and stalls F11, F12, F18, F19 for price level E. The Almeida seating plan varies with each production; however a roughly indicative plan is available here: https://www.almeida.co.uk/seating-plan/. Tickets are not refundable. Tickets will be made available in stages as Meetup does not allow organisers to offer differential prices. The first set of tickets available will be the £45.50 tickets, and I will change the price each weekend to the next batch (or earlier if they sell out). In the days immediately prior to our event, I’ll circulate details of arrangements to meet before the performance.

Past events (239)

Three Sisters – at the Almeida Theatre

Almeida Theatre

£23.00

Photos (229)