Date idea: The Shed

Hello Lovestruckers! Bluffer’s here again, guiding you through the dating streets of London. Because although the summer is drawing to a close (we know, we know . . . when is it actually going to start?) the dating season is still in full swing.

Violence, Greed, & Cheap Sofas.

Violence, Greed, & Cheap Sofas.


To see RIOT at the National Theatre’s temporary summer space, The Shed. The play dramatises the riots that broke out at the opening of the Edmonton IKEA in 2005 (trust us, it’s a must-see). And the theatre is a big red, wooden shed (very hard not to see).


The play is the debut piece by young theatre company, The Wardrobe Ensemble. Rather fitting for a play about flat-packs. Don’t remember the cut-price furniture frenzy in question? Think meatballs at dawn (don’t worry it’s a tragi-comedy). It’s all part of The Shed’s Limited Editions season, showcasing theatre-makers from across the country for a (you guessed it) limited time. Other companies include Little Bulb, Still House and Sleepdogs. Confusing names, yes, so if you’re going to casually mention these exciting young actors-in-waiting, make sure you get it spot on. There are no prizes for referencing the latest play by The Chest of Drawers Collective, Tiny Light, Immobile Flat or Dozing Lions. On the other hand, you are a bluffer after all, so see how many preposterous names you can get away with.


The Shed is slap bang in the middle of the Southbank (just outside the National Theatre, the brains and brawn behind the space). So that’s Waterloo station (Bakerloo, Jubilee & Northern lines). Or Embankment station (Circle & District lines) and a hop skip and jump across Hungerford Bridge. You’ll have to wait until 18 September for RIOT but the Limited Editions season begins on 9 September, so book away. Your date will appreciate the forward planning!


Like IKEA gravlax and the dirt-cheap leather sofas which caused the commotion that inspired the play, tickets are a bargain (£12). And at only 60-mins you’ll have time for a pre- and a post- theatre drink, though this may help nudge the cost of your evening back up to West End prices.


Whilst you’re down by the river you should pay a visit to the Southbank’s famous graffiti-covered skate park. (It’s the somewhat dingy area between Foyles and the BFI café). But unless you’re a pro-skater yourself, prepare to feel decidedly untalented as you watch the youngsters who frequent the park glide (noisily) past you. Mention that this tourist-staple is under threat from developers and further prove your community spirit by buying one of the ‘Save our Skatepark’ t-shirts to support the campaign. Just don’t immediately throw it over your head. Not a good look.


The Wardrobe Ensemble’s second play, 33, follows the initially dismal but finally inspiring story of the thirty-three Chilean miners who found themselves trapped underground for 69 days in 2010. Say you caught the play whilst you were at the Fringe (as in the Edinburgh Fringe) and that you loved the Elvis interludes. Yep, Elvis makes the cast list. Fact is stranger than fiction, after all.

DO SAY ‘I think company-devised theatre is so much more interesting than traditional playwriting.’

DON’T ASK (until at least the third date) ‘Want to go IKEA kitchen shopping next weekend?’

DON’T SAY ‘Do I remember the riots at Edmonton? I was the guy who abandoned his car on the motorway.’


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