New Boulevard Theatre becomes Soho’s newest hidden gem

The new Boulevard Theatre in Soho is making quite a scene. Boulevard is a new venue within Walker’s Court which has recently had a £40m redevelopment by SODA Architects.

I was invited down on a complimentary basis to enjoy a meal within their art-deco restaurant and immerse myself within the sounds of their latest production Ghost Quartet which is played within a 360 degrees intimate theatre which seats just 165 theatre goers.

Boulevard Theatre in Soho, Walkers Court

The original Boulevard Theatre used to be owned by porn baron The King of Soho, Paul Raymond. Back in the day the Boulevard Theatre presented various productions, including erotica, stand-up comedy and straight plays. It was most famously known as the home of Peter Richardson’s Comic Strip which launched the careers of many household names such as Adrian Edmondson, Dawn French, Jennifer Saunders, Rik Mayall and Alexei Sayle in the 1980s.

Raymond clan has brought Walker’s Court back to life with Raymond’s granddaughter Fawn James who has re-transformed Walker’s Court.

Now reopened after 20 years the Boulevard Theatre is now back, redressed and ready for action with it’s new art deco restaurant and a very intimate 360 degree theatre with the latest cutting edge technology.

Restaurant and theatre stripped bear and redressed

This new Boulevard venue has returned to Soho stripped bear and redressed with a whole new look.

The Boulevard restaurant

Stepping within inside Boulevard Soho and venturing upstairs I was immediately hit by the sexy art deco restaurant which is bathed in pink and dressed with stunning white marble tables with fluted glass, and fine brass detailing. This restaurant certainly evokes 1920’s decadence. 

Plus the toilets are also very art deco with it’s cubicle doors which are made out of rosewood veneer with inset mirrors giving an antique rose effect.

The menu has been designed by head chef, Greg Hillier, previously of The Commonwealth Club and The British Academy. In 2017 Greg opened the National Army Museum for Searcys and has worked under Michelin trained chefs Arnaud Stevens and Killian Lynch at Sixty-One Restaurant and The Gherkin.  He started working in restaurants whilst growing up in Australia, and learning the importance of local, seasonal ingredients. 

Vibrant yet unfussy, Greg’s menu focuses on quality ingredients with affordable options, as well as more of an indulgent fare. With most of the dishes leaning towards plant-based food (unless otherwise suggested) there is plenty to choose from. Plus for those who like meat and fish there are dishes such as steaks, pork chops and salmon to be had.

Every new theatrical season the menu will change providing dishes all inspired of the play.

This one is their lunch menu focused around Ghost Quartet.

From the lunch menu I enjoyed three dishes from their a la carte menu of:

Starters I enjoyed the Kohlrabi, salsa verde, celeriac and hazelnut.

Usually I would not order a vegan style starter but as their menu is mainly plant based and aimed towards vegan I thought I would try this dish and I was highly surprised how much I loved it. It did not just look pretty with it’s sliced and chunky vegetable but it tasted amazing, so fresh and flavoursome with the salsa giving it that extra tanginess and the almonds giving it that extra texture. Wild.

For my mains I tucked into a Salmon, tenderstem, almond, squash and chilli.

For me personally ordering salmon at a restaurant has always been a hit or miss as most of the time the salmon is served up too dry. However the salmon served up at the Boulevard did not disappoint as it was succulent, moist and full of flavour served along with a lovely squash puree with a hint of spiciness. This salmon is seriously the best salmon I have ever had at any restaurant and so I highly recommend visiting this restaurant for this dish alone. Star.

To accommodate my salmon I enjoyed a bowl of hand cut chips.

These chips are long, thick, fluffy and crunchy. Tasty.

To end I enjoyed a meringue, creme fraiche served with a plum compote.

This was a meringue made out of no eggs as this was a vegan dessert and I was highly surprised as it was pure white, sweet, crunchy and moorish. In fact it is most likely the best meringue I have ever eaten. The plum compote which was served with it was a real treat as well giving it that extra pizazz with it’s striking scarlet colour, sweetness and plumpness of the plums. Sweetness.

During my meal I also enjoyed one of Boulevard’s Virgin Passion Fruit Porn Star and a Espresso Martini.

Each looked sexy each and tasted gorgeous. The virgin Passion Fruit Porn being sweet and sharp. The Espresso Martini was a hit with a strong taste of coffee and a hint of vodka. Dazzling.

Apart from the a la caret menu there is a very reasonably priced pre-theatre fixed two or three course menu on offer.

The Boulevard Theatre

Heading into the theatre for the Boulevard Theatre inaugural season of the Ghost Quartetwhich the venue’s Artistic Director Rachel Edwards has called a “‘fitting opener, because at it’s core is about what stories are, how we tell them and receive them.” I knew I was going to be in for a treat.

Upon seeing the theatre space I was immediately hit by it’s intimacy and sexiness. It has been cleverly designed giving all 165 audience goers a view no matter where you sit as this theatre is 360 degree. I learned that both stalls and the balcony can be moved independently of each other, and the stage can be rotated 360-degrees. Plus the stage can also be moved up and down, and the luxurious leather covered chairs are free-standing (unlike traditional fixed-row theatre seating). All in all, it means that the space can be almost unrecognisably transformed with ease.

Ghost Quartet is a hauntingly quirky musical by three time Tony Award-nominee Dave Malloy, The Sunset Limited and The Effect.

Ghost Quarter is a musical by director Bill Buckhurst who will take audiences on a journey of four interwoven ghost stories from love, loss, betrayal, vengeance, and spirits all performed by just four musicians.

One tale is about two sisters in love with an astronomer, a star child whom has been stolen away from her mother, a family’s descent into grief-stricken madness and the contemporary tale of a subway murder. 

Credit: Boulevard Theatre

Throughout the 90 minute show the four musicians each played different characters throughout this sensational play giving their characters a range of vocals and treating us all to a mix of their musical talents from playing an array of musical instruments. In all there was 23 songs played. Each song is introduced by the cast by track number and title.

From start to finish though throughout this play there was plenty of audience interaction, from us playing musical instruments ourselves as well as some being handed a glass of whiskey, as multiple glasses are handed out to audience members during one particular entertaining scene. All of this made for a very real experience immersing us into Rose’s ghostly tale.

Zubin Varla played the piano with skill and Niccolò Curradi excelled playing an array of musical instruments.

Credit: Boulevard Theatre

The woman though really stole the show and took me deeper into the ghostly stories was Maimuna Memon with her blissful yet haunting vocal voice which was very fitting with the play and Carly Bawden took and stole the show to a whole new level with the most poignant song of the night with Midnight.

For the last song the audience ended the show whilst a number of theatre goers were handed numerous instruments and whilst playing them the real musicians one by one hauntingly walked off through a door hidden in the darkness.

Be whisked away into the realm of spirits within this intimate show, welcome to the Ghost Quartet.

Verdict

The Boulevard is a sexy and very vibrant venue bringing to Soho a very art deco restaurant providing vegans and vegetarians a great plant based menu within their chic surroundings.

Whilst their luxurious theatre gives theatre goers a very intimate feel with it’s 360 degree 165 seater venue.

I will certainly be looking at returning to this modern, yet classy place as their food was salivating, sexy and fresh along with their stunning theatre leaving all audience members immersed.

Discover Boulevard yourself

Boulevard Soho
6 Walker’s Court
Soho
London
W1F 0BT

Visit the Boulevard restaurant and/or theatre or even become a member and enjoy member perks and offers across.  Find out more membership via boulevardtheatre.co.uk/memberships.

Restaurant

Vibrant, sensory and unfussy, their menu focuses on quality ingredients treated well, and is populated with affordable options to the more indulgent.

Open from 8am offering breakfast for the early-risers; coffee and cake for elevenses; brunch and lunch; pre-theatre and late-evening dining.

Alongside the à la carte menu, a pre-theatre fixed price menu is available for purchase online alongside show tickets.

Check out their breakfastlunchevening and Sunday.

Theatre

At present they are showing Ghost Quartet till 4 January 2020.

Monday – Saturday at 7.30pm
Thursday – Saturday matinees at 2.30pm

Book via clicking here.

Upcoming shows hitting the Boulevard Theatre for 2020 will include the London premiere of Cormac McCarthy’s The Sunset Limited, a new Lucy Prebble play entitled The Effect, Yaël Farber’s staging of Athol Fugard’s Hello and Goodbye, Billy Roche’s The Cavalcaders directed by Kathy Burke, and a new piece by Northern Irish playwright Abbie Spallen.

Plus the Boulevard Theatre will bring regular Lates every night from Wednesday to Saturday, with a variety of jazz, comedy and cabaret.

Sunday’s the space will change yet again to host talks, poetry recitals, podcasts and concerts.

Boulevard is open seven days a week. You can book tickets, reserve a table, and find out more at their website right here.

Thank you to Boulevard for inviting me down I loved it. All views are my own honest opinion.

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