Shunt The First

Charlie and I are sitting deep under London Bridge Station in Shunt Lounge. We’re about to watch a show which involves a marshmallow and a teddy bear. I’m rather hoping that I might get a marshmallow*.

The Stage Manager closes the black curtains to my right. That’s it; we’re contained in the bowels of the world.

“We’re trapped now!” Charlie exclaims. “Maybe forever”.

I consider this for a moment.

“There are worse places to be forced to spend eternity”.

And oh, there are. Because Shunt Lounge is the type of place where you just stumble upon the unexpected (last night: a room full of taxidermy which we were led to by a path of candles, the candles making me think of sinister fairytale entrapment). It’s the kind of place where I come out with fifteen new ideas for shows which I want to create (and that’s not just the epic portions of vodka speaking). It’s a space that just crackles with creativity and insanity and weirdness and all those other things that make it very special indeed.

But it’s not going to be there much longer what with the London Bridge redevelopment taking over (I heard a rumour – which I hope to be unfounded – that it is to be filled in with concrete as foundations for whatever it is that is being built on top of it. Talk about a flippin’ metaphor). There’s a new venue in Bermondsey Street which I’m sure will be as wonderful and ramshackle as the London Bridge vaults by the time that Shunt have got their hands on it but, well…I’ll miss the magic of this place.

*I didn’t. Bah.