In London’s (Off) West End 2019: We Anchor in Hope at The Bunker
LONDON – From the award-winning Anna Jordan, written between the Brexit vote and Trump’s Presidential victory, We Anchor in Hope captures a moment of deep uncertainty in recent history and the characters’ lives when local pub, The Anchor, closes for good. Chaos is in the air, and yet life goes on. For the duration of the play’s run The Bunker will become The Anchor – transformed into a functioning pub with post-show events including pub quizzes, karaoke nights and music.
Since 2001 a quarter of all UK pubs have disappeared, with two still closing every day. Like The Anchor, these pubs are likely to become private flats. For regulars the pub is many things: a haven, a burden, a family, a home. All are about to disappear. It’s the end of an era, but Kenny and the gang are going out with a bang – determined to drink the place dry. There’s karaoke and a lot of Campari. There’s secrets divulged and forgotten dreams resurrected. History, like beer, has seeped into the carpet. Tonight, there’s a lot more to lose than a pub. We Anchor in Hope was commissioned by Chris Sonnex as part of the Royal Court Theatre’s Beyond the Court project. As his first production at The Bunker since being appointed as the theatre’s Artistic Director in 2018, We Anchor in Hope will feature Valentine Hanson, Alex Jarrett, Daniel Kendrick, David Killick and Alan Turkington.
Originally performed script-in-hand it is a fictional piece inspired by interviews and drinking sessions Anna Jordan carried out in and around Pimlico. Playwright Anna Jordan comments: “This play is very special to me for various reasons. I started the interviews in July 2016. It was two months after my mother had died and I was very raw. Three months later we were performing the play in a pub in Pimlico – script in hand. I almost didn’t do it, but I’m so glad I did. It saved me, in many ways. I’ll never forget those few months and the kindness and light brought to me by many people. And the play – so much about memory and love and loss – is a tribute to my mum. I think she would have liked it. I bloody hope she would.”
Says The Bunker’s Artistic Director Chris Sonnex: “This play is rooted in my soul. I grew up in a council estate in Pimlico and spent childhood and teenage years running around pubs; absorbing the culture, playing too many games of pool and spending one pound coins to hear the new “Now That’s What I Call Music!” album on the jukebox. Pubs created a community and provided theatre for me before I even knew what both were, and that led me to commission Anna to write this play when I was working with The Royal Court community programme in Pimlico. I’m happy that I get to represent that important part of my life on stage with all the joy, rage, love, heartbreak and sarcastic mocking that has shaped part of who I am.”
We Anchor in Hope plays from 25th September to 19th October 2019 at The Bunker, 53A Southwark Street London SE1 1RU. For tickets, visit their website here