Theatre: We Anchor in Hope, The Bunker, SE1

A play written between the Brexit vote and Trump’s USA Presidential victory captures a moment of deep uncertainty in recent history and the characters’ lives when local pub, The Anchor, closes for good.

We Anchor in Hope will run at The Bunker from September 25 to October 19 and transform into The Anchor – 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, but for regulars the pub is many things: a haven, a burden, a family, a home, but all are about to disappear.

It’s the end of an era and Kenny and the gang are going out with a bang – determined to drink the place dry.

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 said: “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.”

The Bunker’s artistic director, Chris Sonnex, said: “This play is rooted in my soul. I grew up on a council estate in Pimlico and spent childhood and teenage years running around pubs.

“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.”

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