Tuesday, 20 September 2011

The Belle's Stratagem & The Southwark Playhouse

Welcome back to Access London and Thank You once again for your continued support for disability access and awareness in the Capital.

Hannah Cowley's The Belle's Stratagem is the latest production brought to us by the award-winning team of last year's The Rivals. One of the greatest hits of the Georgian stage, this production is the show's first major London revival.

"In a time when women were second-class citizens, a group of wily women are determined to get their own way…

When, beautiful Letitia Hardy’s ...betrothed returns from the Grand Tour convinced that English women are dull, she sets out to gain his love with an ingenious scheme to prove him wrong.

Meanwhile, the jealous Sir George Touchwood arrives in town with his new wife, Lady Frances, in tow. It’s not long before two of London’s most rambunctious wits, Miss Ogle and Mrs Rackett, make it their mission to convert her into a lady of fashion.

THE BELLE’S STRATAGEM features Marc Baylis as Courtall, Gina Beck as Letitia Hardy, Holly Blair as Mrs Fagg, Cassandra Bond as Kitty Willis, Jackie Clune as Miss Ogle, Samuel Dent as Crowquill, Tim Dorsett as Villers, Mark Fountain as Dick, Jeremy Joyce as Saville, Michael Lindall as Doricourt, Christopher Logan as Flutter, Joseph Macnab as Sir George, Nigel Munson as Silvertongue, Hannah Spearritt as Lady Frances, Maggie Steed as Mrs Rackett and Robin Soanes as Hardy."

This is a truly funny show that won't fail to make you smile. It really engages with the audience in the fairly intimate space of the Southwark Playhouse and has some exquisite costumes too. Jackie Clune, Maggie Steed and Joseph Macnab will have you laughing long after they leave the stage and Gina Beck is superb as the sprightly and beautiful Letitia Hardy.

The Belle's Stratagem is at the Southwark Playhouse until the 1st October, so get your tickets fast!! There are performances Monday-Saturday evenings at 7.45pm and a matinee on Saturdays at 3.15pm. There has also been an additional matinee performance added on Tuesday 27th September at 3.15pm.

Southwark Playhouse is fantastically accessible to those using a wheelchair or mobility scooter. Set back from the main road of Tooley Street, the entrance is in Shipwright Yard and has level access across the courtyard and through the large double doors to the box office. The Belle's Stratagem is performed in the Main House, the entrance of which is just off the box office. There is level access to a bar area with lots of seating and an accessible WC. Staff are happy to keep wheelchairs and scooters in this area throughout the performance.

When booking tickets with the box office (on 020 7407 0234) please tell them if you are a wheelchair or scooter user. Tickets are collected from the box office on arrival and seats are not allocated. However, if staff know that you have certain access requirements, the most accessible seats along the front row, or a wheelchair space, will be reserved for you. A companion or carer can attend for free with each disabled visitor. Staff are happy to sit assistance dogs throughout the performance.

All the staff at Southwark Playhouse were amazingly helpful.

London Bridge train station is 5 minutes away and is accessible (as much as any accessible station is in London!!). There is also a taxi rank outside on Tooley Street. If you are a blue badge holder, there is a bay on Tooley Street (just past the junction with Bermondsey Street). It doesn't look like a conventional blue badge bay as it has red lines around it but it is reserved as a permit and disabled bay until 7pm, whereafter anyone can park there. Please remember to use your blue badge timer also as there is a 3 hour limit up until 7pm.

Don't forget, book tickets now for The Belle's Stratagem, less than 2 weeks left of this fabulous show. Box Office number: 020 7407 0234 - open 10.30am-6.30pm Monday-Friday.

To find out more about The Belle's Stratagem and future productions, see THE SOUTHWARK PLAYHOUSE WEBSITE

To find the location of more blue badge bays in the area SEE THIS WEBSITE

COMING NEXT: More from Phantom 25 Celebrations & Interview with former Christine A J Callaghan.
COMING SOON: The Globe Tour & Exhibition, Priscilla & Interview, More from Phantom 25 and Interviews

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