The White Bear, on Kennington Park Road, is a pub of two halves. The front half is an Irish sports pub with lots of regulars and rather an edgy atmosphere. The back half is an extraordinarily intimate, award-winning fringe theatre with a capacity of just 50. It was established in 1988 and actors who’ve appeared there include Emily Watson, Tamzin Outhwaite, Kwame Kwei-Armah, Mark Little, Kylie Minogue, Jason Donovan and Natalie Imbruglia.
Plays we’ve seen here:
* One about Byron, the Shelleys, and their frantic sex lives.
* A play featuring objectionable middle class couples arguing and cheating on each other over barbecues – or we saw half of it anyway (the problem with leaving a theatre this small during the interval is your absence will definitely be noticed in the second half – sorry about that guys).
* A good production of Noel Coward’s Still Life, the play on which Brief Encounter was based, which is about an abortive affair.
* Recently we saw Coward, a rather unflattering depiction of Noel Coward and his sex life.
Here’s a photo of Coward (that’s him, sitting down):