Sordid play finds a home in Hackney nightclub

pic: Venus Raven

The sexual antics of the Marquis de Sade and Alice in Wonderland, one of the world’s most famous children’s books, might not seem the most obvious of companions.

But they have come together in Stoke Newington where the White Rabbit cocktail bar is staging a production of Quills, a new play about the notorious French writer who gave his name to the word ‘sadism’.

Quills, about the imprisonment of the Marquis in the Charenton asylum, is the first production of the Second Skin theatre company which has taken a residency in the Hackney bar’s basement nightclub space, ‘The Rabbit Hole.’

Natalie Richardson, marketing manager for the Church Street bar explained that the venue has always had roots in theatre.

“David Mofford, the club’s owner, has a Masters in English Literature and has directed and produced plays himself.

“The bar’s design was inspired by Lewis Carroll, so we think a theatre is very suitable for the venue.”

The bar only opened in April this year, and joined forces with Second Skin just two months ago.

The company have performed across the city for five years, but have struggled to secure a residence as their plays are often considered controversial.

By giving the group a home, staff at the bar believe they can add to the ever-growing interest in the arts in Church Street and Stoke Newington.

Richardson said: “The local area has always been open to new and exciting developments within the arts sector.

“The play will encourage others to visit the area, to see how exciting and vibrant it is.”

Quills will be running until November 11. For tickets, contact the White Rabbit Cocktail Club on 0203 556 3350.

By Heather Saul

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