Words: Jamie Tabberer; pictures: PBGStudios
The Above the Stag Theatre & Bar in Vauxhall, London has revealed a glitzy new cabaret lounge and outdoor drinks terrace.
The beloved LGBTQ space has been shuttered but reopened this week following partial unlocking of coronavirus restrictions.
Designed by David Shields, the lounge will play host to an array of LGBTQ talent this summer, as The Stag announces a packed schedule of upcoming shows.
"A much-needed social space for queer thespians and musicians to relax and gossip"
Speaking at a launch event on Wednesday, Tom McGregor, the venue's manager, told Attitude: "We're known for our pantomimes in the main theatre space but it's great to have a second space. The cabaret lounge means we can stage lots of comedy, drag and special nights with LGBTQ West End stars.
"It was wonderful to have Fascinating Aida's Adele Anderson and also Lizzie Bea from Hairspray join us this evening, they really showed off the potential of the new space. Above The Stag is a second home for the West End's LGBTQ stars when they want to let their hair down or try something a bit different."
McGregor continued: "The gay scene doesn't have many outdoor spaces so we're thrilled to launch our new drinks terrace. You don't need a theatre ticket to come for drinks but we hope people might pop in for pints and then stay for a show. It's also a much-needed social space for queer thespians and musicians to relax and gossip and watch Vauxhall go by!"
According to Stag reps, a new theatre season called CONTACT will 'champion LGBTQ rising stars, kicking off in June with Dian Cathal's one-man show Deadnamed, a circus-infused comedy about the trans masc experience.'
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Above The Stag's chairman, Matthew Baldwin told Attitude: "Coming back from Covid-19 is an opportunity for a fresh start and so we wanted to bring more diversity to Above The Stag. I was inspired by how Fleabag started off as a one-woman show at Soho Theatre and I thought gosh, there must be some great queer hits out there, let's do what we can to find some gay Fleabags, so to speak, so we're curating this season of rising stars and letting them use our facilities to nurture their edgy ideas and create new exciting LGBT work.
"Drag king Len Blanco is making a show about Hedwig with Porscha Present, James Phoon from Harry Potter And The Cursed Child is developing a show about conversion therapy with Gene David Kirk called Convert, and drag queen Crayola is making a hilarious show that lampoons Drag Race. It feels really fresh and exciting to have of all these embryonic queer shows buzzing about the place so we can't wait for that to launch in June."
The Attitude July issue is out now.