Tag Archives: Alan Turkington

We Anchor in Hope


The Bunker

We Anchor in Hope

We Anchor in Hope

The Bunker

Reviewed – 3rd October 2019



“a richly atmospheric show about memory, community, and what it means to let go.”


The stage area of The Bunker Theatre has been transformed into a neighbourhood pub. With a fully-functioning bar, ‘The Anchor’ is open an hour prior to each performance for drinks and pool. There’s no need to go out to the foyer for a pint during the interval. A pub quiz every Tuesday night after the show, and karaoke every Thursday night, completes the transformation.

Written by Anna Jordan and directed by Chris Sonnex, We Anchor in Hope is a simmering, uneasy piece that reminds us how precarious our footholds are in society’s ever-shifting landscape. Designed by Zoe Hurwitz, The Anchor is a working-class, locals’ pub. It’s an old bastion in its Pimlico neighbourhood, but the play begins on its last day in business. The year is 2016. The referendum has just passed. The owner calls The Anchor a “safe place”, a haven from the madness. But while we may be safe inside, Jordan and Sonnex ensure we’re constantly aware of the tides of change lapping at the doors. The Anchor won’t withstand the relentless waves of gentrification.

The two young bartenders are Pearl (Alex Jarrett) and Bilbo (Daniel Kendrick). Pearl has grown up in bars. She remembers being six years old, colouring in colouring books while her mum flirted at the pool table. Bilbo got his nickname from his love of The Hobbit. Raised in foster homes, the community at The Anchor is the closest thing he’s had to family. Regulars Frank (David Killick) and Shaun (Alan Turkington) are in almost every day. Frank, in his seventies, is a fixture at the pub. He’s seen it change hands from father to son. Shaun works construction during the week, and goes home at the weekends to see his wife and kids. Kenny (Valentine Hanson) owns the pub. It’s been a rough few months for him. His wife left around the same time he was forced to sell The Anchor.

The crew decide to have one last hurrah on The Anchor’s final night. The last of the alcohol needs to be drunk. “When it’s gone, it’s gone.” As the night unfolds, tensions rise, secrets are revealed, and decisions are reached. The five personalities of the play are dynamic and complicated, compellingly brought to life by a talented cast. Killick stands out for his precise portrayal of The Anchor’s own anchor, Frank; Kendrick for his earnest performance of the down-and-out Bilbo.

We Anchor in Hope is largely a character study. It works for the most part, thanks to the vividness of the characters and the strength of the cast. However, the lack of narrative thread can make the show feel long at times. The beginning is slow, and the play takes some time to find its stride. More shape to the story would cut down the instances when the show seems to stall or drift.

Nevertheless, Jordan has skilfully captured the brief sigh of mourning – for the comfort of the status quo, and the nostalgia for the way things were – before the necessity of moving on. This is a working-class story. All communities must adapt with the changing times, but it’s the working classes that are hit the hardest. It’s harder punches they have to roll with, and while it seems clear the crew at The Anchor will survive – they are survivors – they’ll carry the bruises with them.

Jordan, Sonnex, and Hurwitz have created a richly atmospheric show about memory, community, and what it means to let go. Pull up a barstool and join in the bitter celebration for the end of an era.


Reviewed by Addison Waite

Photography by Helen Murray


We Anchor in Hope

The Bunker until 19th October


Last ten shows reviewed at this venue:
Welcome To The UK | ★★ | January 2019
Boots | ★★★★ | February 2019
Box Clever | ★★★★★ | March 2019
Killymuck | ★★★★ | March 2019
My White Best Friend | ★★★★★ | March 2019
Funeral Flowers | ★★★½ | April 2019
Fuck You Pay Me | ★★★★ | May 2019
The Flies | ★★★ | June 2019
Have I Told You I’m Writing a Play About my Vagina? | ★★★★ | July 2019
Jade City | ★★★ | September 2019


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The Lady With a Dog – 4 Stars


The Lady With a Dog

White Bear Theatre

Reviewed – 23rd February 2018


“warm, charming and delightful”


With the current news in today’s society being portrayed as very dark and upsetting, it was extremely refreshing to watch Mark Giesser’s bright and cheerful adaptation of Chekhov’s romantic comedy, ‘The Lady With a Dog.’

Set in Britain in the late 1920s, this simple “boy meets girl” love story (with the exception of a Pomeranian dog), is quite delightful. It was as fresh as the sea air that Anne Dennis (Beth Burrows) takes in when walking on the beach with her new acquaintance, Damian Granville (Alan Turkington). They soon begin to exchange their common interests – one of them being Pomeranian dogs. However, it is Damian who is up to his old tricks as he tries to seduce Anne, even though they are both married.

Something I found particularly peculiar, was the fact that both characters didn’t shy away from revealing the truth about their spouses. They were very upfront and honest, and still agreed to indulge in the secret love affair. Burrows and Turkington did a superb job at portraying the chemistry between these two devilish characters, and worked beautifully together at conveying their audacious relationship. The sexual desire between them soon escalates when they dance a passionate Argentine tango, (choreographed by Orley Quick), but later Anne admits to feeling “cheap” and “vulgar” after sleeping with the London banker. Here, Burrows succeeds in portraying an engaging story but also a very accurate one, where women in the 1920s wanted to escape from the mundane duties of a housewife and feel liberated.

There were also great performances from Duncan Maclnnes as Carl Dennis and Laura Glover as Elaine Granville, the cheated spouses who would often make the audience chuckle with their brilliant one-liners. Congratulations are definitely in order for Oscar Selfridge’s set design and Giulia Scrimieri’s costume design that both helped encapsulate the 1920s post-war feel.

There is no doubt that both the cast and crew have worked extremely hard at creating a very successful show. It was warm, charming and delightful, and was one that I very much enjoyed.


Reviewed by Jessica Brewer

Photography by Andreas Grieger


The Lady With a Dog

White Bear Theatre until 10th March


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