Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Belatedly blogged: The #LDNTheatreBloggers reach Planet Hollywood

"Push pineapple, shake a tree"

Though we do like to protest that we're in this for more than free theatre tickets and free alcohol, the evil genius behind #LDNTheatreBloggers - the ever-sparkly Rebecca Felgate of Official Theatre has honed in on our weakness (meet-up #1 was gin-tasting, meet-ip #2 was espresso martini-making...) and managed the not inconsiderable feat of bringing together 40-odd bloggers from the cultural sphere on a chilly Friday night. And so thanks to the benevolence of Official Theatre and the guys from Seatplan (a crowd-sourced seat-reviewing website that I'd highly recommend you check out), we enjoyed the hospitality (and yummy finger food) (and 2-4-1 cocktail offers) of Planet Hollywood for a whole load of chat, competitions and Matilda singalongs. 

The lovely ladies of Starling Arts told us of their plans to celebrate their impressive 5th anniversary with a concert, West End Wilma was hawking her wares - blue rinse doesn't come cheaply these days ;-) - with her #stagey tote bags which you can buy from her site, The Gizzle Review was celebrated for its online growth, various people won t-shirts, I won a bottle of Prosecco, and all manner of theatrical and arts-based chat was had. It's a great set-up although it can be difficult to make sure that you actually speak to everyone there new and old, the temptation to slip away to the bar and just chat to your pals is always strong but 'tis often the way with networking events.

If the idea of #LDNTheatreBloggers appeals to you and you are an arts blogger, whether based on theatre or something else, then I'd urge you to get involved. Just drop Rebecca a line on the contact form on this page and you'll soon get swept up into the friendly and interesting embrace of a like-minded community. 

For me, I've loved meeting new people at the theatre and then recognising their faces at other opening nights and suchlike, and having a new avenue to distribute the plus ones I quite often receive. Also, the debates that flare up between the members of the group are becoming more and more fascinating as we skirt around the ever-contentious non-issue of online criticism versus print journalism and what role we might possibly have in helping to move the conversation along in a constructive and illustrative manner for all concerned. Watch this space because I think interesting things are going to happen!



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