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Maverick Theatre and TWO in the Pub. Shot with Tradition..!

April 21, 2023

Shots. Not big or clever. Although one per production should be okay! The TWO gang… Greg, Nick and Claire. 

It’s not big, and it’s not clever, but it’s a tradition we have at the Maverick Theatre Company that dates back to the 1990’s. The first night shot! Of course, it’s not compulsory for Maverick people to have a shot after our first production, or indeed drink any alcohol, but it goes back to the early days of Maverick at the Billesley Pub in Birmingham.

Our first production was very difficult financially. (There’s a surprise! They still are!)

On one of our early first nights, Glenn Bayes, a local actor who I thought would make a good director (I was correct!) and I were standing at the bar, trying to work out if we had enough cash to buy a pint which we could split – a half pint each. It was cheaper that way.

Then, a very sartorial member of the audience came to the bar and saw us. He knew who we were because in the early days at the Billesley we always did a raffle before the production and explained to our first-time theatre attenders how it all worked. 

This man was obviously impressed with us. 

“What a marvellous show,” he gushed. “The acting, the intimacy of it all… what an experience. I’m a regular theatre-goer but I LOVE this concept. It’s proper art.”

We mumbled some thanks and shuffled on the spot. But then…

“I MUST buy you a drink. What do you want?”

Glenn and I looked at each other and shoved our small change back in our pockets.

“That’s very kind of you,” I said. “A pint of lager would be lovely.”

“Yes”, said Glen. “Lager for me too. Thank you very much.”

Sartorial-man looked at us.

“What! Lager? Certainly not. A quality experience needs a quality drink. Whisky. A good one. Or a Brandy? I won’t buy you anything less!”

Now me and Glen were both born and raised on a council estate – in fact the Billesley estate, where this pub was and the show had just happened. I’d had some radio experience and record industry launch parties, but we both REALLY just wanted a pint. It became an early lesson in established theatre culture!

So lovely Posh man bought us a short each. I think I had an Irish whisky and Glen had a Bourbon. And Glen, being a younger man, shotted his drink. Down in one. So I followed his example. Posh man looked on, at first puzzled, but then quickly followed our example. 

“Wow! You guys! What a blast!”

We never got the pint. Financially things eventually got a bit better. But Glenn and I always joked about that night. And got each other – and our actors and crew – a shot for years afterwards on our first nights.

And there are hundreds of Maverick actors, artists, techies and friends who have suffered/enjoyed our first nights ever since. Including the lovely current TWO actors, Claire and Greg.

So if you ever want to buy me a drink, a pint will be great. Unless, of course, it’s the first night of a Maverick Theatre production…

Come and see Two At The Tabard Theatre…

Our acclaimed production runs until 29th April. It’d be great to see you. And not just in the bar afterwards. Although it’s a bit ‘dangerous’ booze-wise, as the show starts at 7.30pm, has a 15 minute interval and we’re still back in the ‘proper’ bar downstairs at The Tabard before 9pm! Cheers! Hic!



Pint Night in Soho!

March 23, 2023

The French House Pub famously only serves half-pints. Apart from on Pint Night! When, for charity and for one day only, they serve pints like other pubs.

Traditionally, there’s a lot of things happen on pints day at The French. And usually the musician Suggs, from the band Madness, pours the 1st pint in the morning. (His Mom used to be a regular)

As you may gather from watching this little video, I started uploading live to Facebook etc but now just do them here. And the video was filmed towa...

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Some of the London writers featured on the London Literary Pub Crawl.

February 9, 2023

London has been home to some of the most revered writers in history. Here are five of the most famous writers who have lived and worked in the city:

1.  Charles Dickens: The renowned English author was born in Portsmouth, but moved to London in his early twenties and wrote most of his beloved classics, such as Great Expectations, Oliver Twist and A Christmas Carol, while living in the city. 

2.  George Orwell: The author of Animal Farm and 1984 spent much of his life in London and his novels we...

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All the Best People at the Literary Pub Crawl!

November 18, 2022

Sky and Dad Rob in Soho. 

Internationally acclaimed Poet Skye Bowdon and her father visiting London to collect her latest award, The #Foyle Prize for Creative Writing. They’re obviously aware that the visit would not be complete without experiencing the London Literary Pub Crawl! 

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Lest We Forget... our writer Nick's Dad's first visit to London - aged 86!

November 11, 2022

I thought I'd share this from November 2009 when British and Allied troops were in Afghanistan. Dad lived another 7 years after this. But it remains the only time he ever visited London. And one of very few times he talked about his war-time experience.

My Dad, above, on the Thames embankment for the first time, aged 86. Note cap in hand.

It's been an unusually domestic week for me. And with remembrance day, British troops in Afghanistan and the Sun newspaper giving Gordon Brown a bad time over...

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About Us

Nick Hennegan Hello. I'm Nick Hennegan and I started the London Literary Pub Crawl. Most of the blogs on here will be by me. I've always written but my first theatrical success was an adaptation of Shakespeare's 'Henry V' ( I founded Maverick Theatre in 1994. ( This pub crawl is really more a promenade theatre performance than a tour and I'm running it with a bunch of enthusiastic local actors and writers. I love sharing my passion for the area and the artists. I also present a weekly radio show, 'Literary London' on Resonance 104.4fm - London's Arts Station and a podcast on our site. If you haven't visited us in London yet, I hope you'll come soon. Have a look at my new site, And feel free to leave comments or email me at nick @ - I reply to them all and I love to hear from you.


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