Pub theatre comes to St Albans at The Horn

A rehearsal photo for Black Box's forthcoming production of Rabbit

A rehearsal photo for Black Box's forthcoming production of Rabbit - Credit: Archant

Pub theatre comes to St Albans over the coming two nights at The Horn.

Black Box's forthcoming production of Rabbit can be seen at The Horn

Black Box's forthcoming production of Rabbit can be seen at The Horn - Credit: Archant

It takes talent, courage and dedication to embark on a career in theatre.

In the words of Noel Coward: “The profession is overcrowded and the struggle is pretty tough.”

So I was excited to hear that plucky new local company Black Box Theatre is staging its second production, Rabbit, this week.

I was further impressed to learn that they will be performing in a pub – The Barn at The Horn.

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Over the last 15 years, pub theatre, once seemingly exclusive to Islington, has really kicked off.

It works well because of its immediacy; in a smaller environment, the relationship between performer and audience member is less distinct. There are more opportunities for empathy.

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Black Box say: “We want Rabbit to feel not like the formal experience many people expect from the theatre, but just like seeing a group of friends at a pub.”

Black Box’s founding members Emily Carhart, Freya Mitchell and Amber Williams all grew up in St Albans and want to contribute to the city’s already good artistic scene.

Their company aim is to work with emerging artists, creating theatre that challenges the perceptions of performance spaces and traditional casting.

Amber Williams explained that they decided to stage Rabbit by Nina Raine because it was contemporary and dark.

She said: “Set in a bar on the protagonist’s 25th birthday, the play tracks a night out but in doing so addresses issues of gender and why these views are formed.

“Rabbit was originally published in 2006, but we believe the issues it addresses are still relevant – especially in light of recent political shifts.”

Black Box staged Suddenly Last Summer at Trestle Arts Base last year.

I asked what we can expect for their next venture and was pleased to see they are open to trying many different genres.

Amber said: “We’re thinking of working on Polly Teale’s Brontë or... some Shakespeare”.

Performances of Rabbit are at 7pm to 8pm, and 9.30pm to 10.30pm on Thursday, April 13 and Good Friday, April 14 at The Barn at The Horn pub.

Drinks will be available throughout the show.

Tickets cost £10 adult, £7 concessions, plus booking fee.

To book tickets, visit

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