Friday, August 13, 2010

Project Arts Centre

The play's the thing, but personally I think the venue's just as much the thing, at least if your aim is to catch a good evening's entertainment at the theatre.

I've been to several plays in Project Arts Centre recently and enjoyed all of them. I don't think that's entirely down to the plays. I like Project Arts Centre itself. I like that it has a gallery space for small exhibitions - apart from being good in it own right, this provides another way for customers to enjoy themselves before their play begins. I like the bar; unlike the Abbey Theatre it has Black Bush. (I mean really, is that too much to expect of our National Theatre?) I like that there's a machine that dispenses free coffee, even if it's not particularly good coffee.

I went to see 'Vincent River' earlier this week. The staff were friendly, from the ticket-sellers on the front desk to the bar staff and the polite ushers. At one point I misplaced my copy of the programme and asked for another - no problem. Oh, and being able to order in a pizza from Milano for only €10, arriving in about 15 minutes... this, ladies and gentlemen, is how theatre should be.

Most of all I like the closeness of the audience seats to the action on stage, particularly for the downstairs theatre, the Cube. It's a cliché to say this but the venue really does feel intimate. The immediacy and physicality of theatre is part of its appeal: it's the original 3D movie.

Have you had any good (or bad) experiences at Project Arts Centre? Send me a Tweet!

The bar. If you look very carefully you'll notice a selection of whiskies... mmm.


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