Introducing… Performance in the Pub

I’m stupidly excited to be able to announce a thing I’ve been working on since just before Christmas, the first in a series of DIY performance shows in Leicester, called ‘Performance in the Pub’.

if something isn’t happening where you are, make it happen wherever.

Performance in the Pub began as an idea in my head as I was writing this article for my mate’s punk webzine about what DIY theatre and music can learn from one another. I realised that I’d been complaining about the lack of innovative programming in Leicester’s theatres, but doing nothing about it – and also while sort of knowing that the kind of stuff I thought it was missing don’t really suit massive venues like Curve etc. So, money/mouth is; here I am. Putting on small-scale, DIY and storytelling performance on in a pub.

The first event will be taking place in The Cookie Jar, The Crumblin’ Cookie’s brand new venue in the centre of Leicester. It will be a double bill of solo performance; Tassos Stevens with Jimmy Stewart, and Ira Brand with Keine Angst. BOTH OF WHICH ARE AMAZING. You can find lots more about this first show and the two performances on the Eventbrite where coincidentally, you can also get tickets.


Because I’m so bored of all these divisions between art forms. And big shiny buildings that act like cathedrals to art/theatre/etc. They have their place, but the problem is it’s not a place that’s a part of most people’s lives. The pub, on the other hand, is. That’s why a pub. Single-form buildings only work heavily subsidised by either government (arts council) or large-scale commercialism (cinemas, large music venues), or alcohol (small venues). The latter is way more fun, so let’s fill nooks and crannies of these buildings with theatre, performance, dance, exhibitions, craft, music and more. Make our cities exciting, varied places to be. This is my contribution.


Just stories really. I mean, that’s what most theatre and performance is. I’m saying ‘performance’ here, because most of it won’t be like a ‘proper play’. It’ll be stuff people made with their actual bodies in a room – trying ideas and stuff out until they found something that worked. Think of how bands put music together compared to how composers do – that’s the difference between ‘performance’ and ‘theatre’ for me. The performance I put on will be small-scale, DIY, and/or storytelling theatre. By turns loud, funny, heart racing, lovely, musical, spectacular, touching, and transporting. I can promise you it will be from some of the most exciting, innovative and brilliant acts in the UK, and as the UK is well good at performance, PROBABLY THE WORLD. Totes.


How much does it cost me, or how much does it cost you? Well, basically I, and everyone involved in putting on PitP shows are working for free, I pay for the travel, food and accommodation of the performers, I give myself a pat on the back if I’m lucky. All the promotion, printing, deposit for the venue, website building, and everything is upfronted by me, and hopefully paid back by the money people donate for tickets. That leads us to:

How much does it cost you? Well actually that’s another important thing to me, that you can ‘trial’ this stuff, that if you really don’t want to spend a 5ver or whatever on it, that you can just walk in, and sit down, and see what you think, and maybe pay afterwards if you liked it. Or pay next time. That’s why it’s ‘donation based’ ticketing. If you’re looking for a guide price, though, it costs me roughly £350-£400 to put on each show. If I sell out the venue at £5 each ticket then I break even. More is more to roll forward into more print/acts/etc. So if you want to help more happen £5 or over is ACE, you’re effectively only paying £2.50 per nationally or internationally known performance at that price ;) also; buy drinks. More drinks bought = I get the venue deposit back.

And while you’re still reading, why not follow @performancepub on Twitter, Like it on Facebook, and invite EVERYONE IN THE WORLD to the Facebook event. You can also go onto and check out where I’m horrifically self-plagiarising. Oh yes, and Tickets. Go forth!

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2 Responses to “Introducing… Performance in the Pub”

  1. Adam January 5, 2012 at 6:43 pm #

    London has always had a long tradition of Pub theatres, since diskensian times. Its strange that this did not make its way around the country, yet open mic nights are all over the shop.

    Good luck

  2. Hannah Nicklin January 5, 2012 at 6:54 pm #

    You’re right about London having them. Fingers crossed this gets some people interested!

    Thanks :)

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