The Above The Stag Theatre and Bar in Vauxhall has reopened with the show Buyer & Cellar which was cancelled when the lockdown was imposed in March. We asked Above The Stag’s Tom McGregor to tell us more including introducing their Cabaret Lounge and news of this year’s pantomime Dick Whittington: A New Dick in Town.
It is great news that Above The Stag has reopened, can you tell us about that decision?
It was so important for us to reconnect with the community and bring some light and joy back into everyone’s lives. We’ve missed everybody!
Your first show is Buyer & Cellar which was cancelled when lockdown came, what’s the story?
Alex, a struggling out of work actor lands himself a job working in Barbra Streisand’s basement, organising and chaperoning her legendary street of shops – a literal shopping mall which real life Streisand has created beneath her Malibu home, full of her memorabilia. Streisand comes down to peruse her collection and the two strike up a friendly conversation. It feels like they’ve really bonded in the basement, but will their relationship ever make it upstairs? You’ll have to book tickets and find out!
Can you tell us about the performer Aaron Sidwell (pictured above)? He must be pleased to be finally treading the Above The Stag boards?
Aaron’s career began at 18 when he was cast in the BBC’s long-running drama Eastenders playing the role of Steven Beale. He’s also appeared in the UK tour of Wicked and Green Day’s American Idiot in the West End.
You are also running a new Cabaret Lounge – what’s the format and who have you got coming up?
We wanted to put something together that would work well with social distancing – and we found it! We’ve had a mix of West End stars such as Janie Dee to Blue’s Duncan James.
We guess you have lots of COVID safety measures in place at the theatre?
You name it, we’ve got it! Hand sanitiser aplenty, socially distanced tables, fogging machines… if anything survives I’d be very surprised!
Is the bar going to be open at performances, and at other times?
Our bar is now open to everyone, whether you are seeing a show or not. Check our website for our current opening hours.
Can you tell us about the Above The Stag pantomime this year, Dick Whittington: A New Dick in Town?
You’re never more than six feet from a rat. They don’t do distancing… After years of acclaimed smashes, Above The Stag’s pantomime team is back with a fabulous and filthy retelling of the great London legend. This Dick might not be straight, but he’s got a good head on him. Like many a gay lad he comes to town in search of men and money, but finds himself in mortal combat with devilish mayoral candidate Queen Rat. With distanced seating, reimagined pantomime traditions and a cornucopia of dick jokes, this rude, riotous and romantic adventure promises a much-needed winter treat.
What are your plans and hopes for the Above The Stag as you navigate these difficult times?
We’ve started again as we mean to go on! In this climate all we can do is power through…
Is there anything Boyz readers can do to support the theatre?
Buy tickets to our shows and spread the word!
Check out the performance dates and buy tickets for Buyer & Cellar, the Cabaret Lounge and this year’s pantomime Dick Whittington at abovethestag.org.uk.