Cardiff is well known for its nightlife and culture, and an unusual addition to both categories was Wales’s first theatre pub at Porter’s bar.
“We wanted to explode onto the scene and do things with high production values,” says Bizzy Day, co-founder of The Other Room Theatre.
It’s fair to say that TOR, which Bizzy describes as “probably Cardiff’s worst kept secret”, has done just that, leading to it been being named Fringe Theatre of the Year 2016 at The Stage Awards for its uncompromising and quality output.
TOR themes its seasonal programmes under an overarching film noir-ish feel that lends itself very well to the aesthetic of Porter’s, a popular independent bar owned by two former – they would laugh and tell you ‘failed’ – actors.
“The plays we programme tend to explore the grittier and darker side of human nature, but it’s always tempered with hope,” says Bizzy.
Small but perfectly formed (“If we put any more than five people on our stage it gets a bit overwhelming for the audience!”), TOR, like Cardiff, punches above its weight.
“This city is exciting,” says Bizzy. “People who live in Cardiff are so spoilt – there is so much going on. I love this city, and it constantly surprises me. Cardiff remakes itself. It’s doing that right now in fact, and that’s really exciting.”