"Drinking with Thesps"Review Rating: Reviewed by Leila
The Arts Theatre Club opened in 1927, as a members club for thespians and literary figures. Today, still a members club, it can be found down some steps on Frith Street in Soho.
Having recently been through a massive refit, the venue is now a haven of glamour and comfort, dark red walls, stylist seats, and shelves filled with old books, (but don’t attempt to read them unless you have a good knowledge of the Greek language, as the owners who originate from Greece appear to have emptied their collection here). However it wasn’t always this glamorous, and was once rather rough round the edges. I even had a bag stolen here on one occasion.
Unashamedly retro, the Arts Club favours 80’s and 90’s music, however you will not find the likes of Kylie or Rick Astley here, oh no. The music policy includes The Smiths, New Order, Blur, Blondie, Echo & The Bunnymen, and the odd dash of Madonna, amongst many many others.
In theory you can only really attend if you are a member, which costs £25 a year or is free if you’re a theatre or BECTU union member; however it is extremely quiet up until around 10 or 11pm. This solitude can work well if you’re trying to find a quiet place to talk in Soho on a Friday night, generally an impossibility.
The drinks are expensive, at £4.50 for a small glass of house red. However Arts Theatre Club provides a different kind of drinking experience, with an older, perhaps more jaded crowd, good music, and a slight feeling of ‘luvviness’ is in the air.
Leila reviewed Arts Theatre Club on Wed 17 Sep 2008