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Dawn Hope at the Warehouse Theatre
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Lady Day -
Dawn Hope at the Warehouse Theatre

Celebrating its 25th Year, the Warehouse Theatre is the perfect place to see Lanie Robertson's 'Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill' starring Dawn Hope. The Warehouse Theatre was founded in 1977 and is housed in a converted Victorian warehouse (built in 1882). You are drawn into a small entrance hall with ticket office and off to the right is a small bar area - everything is small at the Warehouse except the productions! The bar was opened in 1985 on the site of the old stable block and an eating area was added upstairs, called the 'Hayloft' bar, that we soon discovered with its cosy little outside seating area.

Time is called and we make our way down a small dark corridor (like an entrance to a haunted house), and then, almost at once, we emerge into a small late-night bar in Philadelphia called Emerson's, not long before Billie Holiday's early death in 1959.

Dawn Hope is a big fan of Billie Holiday and you can tell she has done her homework in order to bring alive the essence of Billie in this portrait of a jazz legend. She powerfully performs the songs that made Billie famous, entwined with (often-humorous) dialogue describing her traumatic life story, accompanied by pianist Warren Wills. (Musical Director and Arrangements).

It was such an absorbing performance from Dawn Hope that time did what time always does when you don't want it to and as quickly as she appeared…she vanished. It seemed for that brief moment we really were in 'Emerson's Bar and Grill' and we really had just been witness to one of the last performances of the legendary Billie Holiday.

It was essential to the whole play that the atmosphere was of a small intimate space - one which the character of the Warehouse Theatre captured perfectly - which is why it is sad that ultimately this venue (as many before it) will be lost to that hungry monster called 'new development'!!!!

But never fear, the Warehouse Theatre has got a new home for the future, if you were wondering….

Warehouse Theatre, Dingwall Road, Croydon CR0 2NF
(adjacent to East Croydon)
Box Office: 020 8680 4060

For more information, photographs, interviews and press tickets please contact Damien Hewitt
Tel 020 8681 1257, e-mail


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