A trip to the theatre has always been somewhat of a treat night. There’s something special about going out for dinner, the murmur of excitement before a production and a story you haven’t heard before. So, a trip to Omnibus Theatre in Clapham seemed like just the ticket.
Sat within sight of the beautiful Clapham Common, the theatre sits in a peaceful spot, surrounded by local shops and pub gardens lit up by fairy lights. I’m looking for a glitzy, showy theatre and am pleasantly surprised to find that Omnibus Theatre is authentic – sitting in a former library.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a theatre without a good story behind how it came to be! The theatre opened in 2013, being a former library which was saved by a community campaign and relies on box office sales, hires and donations. Celebrating it’s fifth year, the venue is now a multi-award winning theatre, supported by heavy-weight patrons including Sir Michael Gambon, director Sir Richard Eyre and the Old Vic’s Matthew Warchus.
Artistic Director Marie Mccarthy told us,“We put on shows that connect with our artistic vision which is inspired by the legacy of the library. As an Artistic Director, when I look at work, I look at work that connects with stories and the different ways they are told.”
When we enter Omnibus Theatre, the bar is cleverly decorated with an Indian theme, with an old gramophone in the corner, in line with the performance we’re taking in tonight.
“The Datia Incident” is a true story about the first Indian recording artist, Gauhar Jaan, and the gossip which surrounded her visit to Datia. Grabbing a glass of wine and playing with the adorable theatre cats, I’m excited when we head through to take our seats and the layout is unusual and clever. With the stage laid out like a catwalk down the middle of the room, there are rows of seats on either side, giving everyone a different view of the stage.
The play is brilliant, funny and clever, with great use of the space. The outfits are beautiful and my favourite bits are the dance interludes, which break up the story and immerse you in the Indian culture, to make you feel like you’re right there in Datia. The actors are slick, the story is clever and the tale is told with just enough information that I need to rush off and read up on this whole story after the play!
Omnibus Theatre offer a great evening out, with around 300 performances across the theatre season. Shows coming up include Shadwell Opera Double Bill (based on Sophocles’ Oedipus at Colonus) and Perfect (a show perfect for families, with puppertry!). See if they have anything you fancy on the link below and use the code 'PORTICO10' for 10% off tickets.
10% off tickets when you buy online on the Omnibus Theatre site using the code 'PORTICO10'.To get your own free Portico places card, just email firstname.lastname@example.org with your postal address and we will send a card out to you.