The Royal Vauxhall Tavern has been knocking around since 1863. I’ve been going there since I was a kid, when it used to be two separate bars with a stage and a trapeze. Pole-dancers, drag acts and low comics would race along the bar, so you had to whip your pint up pretty sharpish not to have it kicked through the window.
It was never a very genteel pub.
Marooned in one of London’s most horrible one-way systems, it was threatened with demolition for no good reason than it was in the way. The backstreet of slums and warehouses behind it, a robbers’ paradise, has now gone, but the Vauxhall lives on. I’ll be appearing there with Sophia Blackwell, Paul Burston and Karen Mcleod as part of the Hot August Fringe Festival on August 3rd between 7 – 8pm.
Bearing in mind the many strange and wonderful acts I’ve seen at this place (remember the night they gave a joint to every customer to test Lambeth’s relaxed one-joint-no-arrest attitude to marijuana?) it’ll be a privilege to finally be taking the stage myself.