Despite some recent setbacks, the future looks bright for Above The Stag, London’s only LGBTQ+ theatre — just ask operations director and producer, Andy Hill, we chatted to him all about ATS and their exciting plans ahead.
GLL: How has the start of 2022 been for Above The Stag?
At the start of the year, we had a brief closure due to the concerns over the Omicron variant however we were delighted to reopen in March and welcome back our regular customers with a series of events in our Bar and Cabaret Lounge and our pride season of plays in our theatre.
The theatre industry was hit hard by Covid -where do the lockdowns fare in the operational
challenges you’ve faced in the past? The lockdowns were tough on everyone in the hospitality and arts industries and it was a logistical nightmare trying to accommodate the ever-changing rules. It was so sad to see our 100 seat theatre reduced down to 38 seats for social distancing and financially it was even harder to try and break even on the performances with so few seats available.
GLL: You built a cabaret lounge and outdoor terrace while closed – are you happy with howthese spaces have turned out?
Our terrace was built to accommodate the outdoor only trading rules following the end of lockdown three and it has been hugely popular ever since. It is perfect for drinks in the summer sunshine and also has heating for the colder days and evenings.
The cabaret lounge was again created as a result of the covid restrictions, it allows us to diversify the type of events we hold in that room to reach out to a wider audience than usual. We have recently built up a series of regular monthly events including a queer poetry evening, queer music night and live performances from the Queer Talk podcast.
GLL: Are there any shows or acts coming up that you’re particularly excited about?
We are particularly excited about the return of Alright Bitches! which was last performed in 2016 at our previous venue. It promises to bring the full Gran Canarian package to Vauxhall… what more could you want!
This production has a brand new cast and will be directed by Bryan Hodgson. We will also be blessed with a fabulous set design from the Offie award-winning David Shields. Be sure not
to miss it, tickets are selling very quickly.
GLL: What does the future hold for Above The Stag?
We are busy working away on our plans for the second half of the year and will reveal more
information shortly. In the meantime, we are always keen to make new connections with artists & creatives to help develop new projects in any of our spaces.
GLL: Can you tell us about your plans for Pride this year?
We will be celebrating Pride with our friends, colleagues, cast members, and close friends of the theatre. We will be taking part in the parade during the day and then hosting a Pride party in the evening at Above The Stag. Further details
will be announced soon!
Above the Stag have a PACKED Season ahead in both their theatre and Cabaret Lounge. You can check everything out HERE!