Spread Eagle Theatre is tuned in for the light programme

BELLA BARTOCK, our resident culture vulture, got out her rouge and party frock to enjoy another evening at the Spread Eagle Theatre, which is celebrating its first birthday

bbcAs I make my way past East Croydon Station, taking great care not to get my heels stuck in those ghastly tram tracks, I cannot help but feel a little sadness within when I pass the site of the old Warehouse Theatre, which did so much for contemporary and pioneering theatre.

For the moment, though, the Spread Eagle Theatre, celebrating its first anniversary, has gone some way to fill the gap with its (sometimes too) intimate atmosphere. It’s autumn and winter season offers 17 nights of comedy and drama, with Five Rounds Rapid’s production of The Complete History of the BBC (Abridged) completely a two-night run in the room above the pub on Katharine Street tonight.

Actors Alix Cartwright and Bob Sinfield,  as a sad old man and his tolerant wife, offer more nostalgia than hilarity in recounting the BBC’s history, the small performance space working well as the play’s setting of a very modest museum of BBC memorabilia in a garden shed.

The jokes brought gentle smiles that were broadened more as the audience picked up on references to programmes that they had seen in their lifetime than read about in history books.

The strongest reaction came to references to Margaret Thatcher, so you’ll know now a little about the audience.

For £10 a ticket and a convivial atmosphere the show offers better value for money than steeper prices across at the nearby Fairfield Halls, and especially so compared to other shows back up in London.

Coming to Croydon

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