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New theatre company aims to make pubs and clubs more inclusive for women and non-binary people

Jessica Bickel-Barlow and Olivia Munk in the Old Red Lion Jessica Bickel-Barlow and Olivia Munk in the Old Red Lion
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A new theatre company has been launched that aims to make clubs and bars more inclusive for women and non-binary people.

The company, called Part of the Night, aims to “encourage people of all genders to feel comfortable, sociable and adventurous on a night out” by bringing theatre into pubs and clubs.

Part of the Night is launching on June 17 with Theatre On Tap: a 24-hour creative challenge, which will see three teams of women and non-binary writers create three short pieces of theatre in 24 hours.

All three pieces will be performed in the main pub space at the Old Red Lion in London. Although the pub has a reputation for supporting theatre in its upstairs venue, Part of the Night says this is the first time it is bringing theatre to the downstairs pub space.

The event will feature actor and writer Madeline Gould, writer and theatremaker Guleraana Mir and gig theatre company Burnt Lemon.

Co-founder of Part of the Night, Olivia Munk, said: “My co-founder Jessica Bickel-Barlow and I realised that while we weren’t comfortable going to a pub or club alone, we always enjoyed going to the theatre alone – so we decided to bring the two together.

“Having spoken to a number of people who identify as female, non-binary, trans, and queer, we found that this sentiment was echoed by lots of people for a variety of different reasons. Ultimately we’d like to make nightlife spaces social centres where like-minded people can come together to enjoy food, drink and really good stories.”

Munk added that as more pubs and nightclubs close, she hoped the theatre company would help revitalise the nightlife scene.

“We’re interested in bringing theatre directly into nightlife spaces because it might be a way to revitalise the floundering nightlife industry, with a demographic that has been longing for friendlier spaces,” Munk said.

In the summer, Part of the Night will be undertaking an R&D of a new play designed for clubs called Populist, written by Emma Fenton-Wells. There will be a sharing of this at a venue in London on August 15.

Part of the Night is also planning a series of pop-up interactive performances in pubs around London, provisionally titled ‘Immersive Rom-Com’. Further details are to be announced.

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