Prepare to be swept back to the glamour of the 1920’s in this sophisticated and lively experience.
From the second you step into the uniquely designed speakeasy that The Lost Estate has created for their latest experience you are surrounded by classic categories of people of that era including mobsters and Hollywood stars thanks to audiences really dressing up for this lively occasion. From then on it is difficult not to be swept away by the glamour of the jazz era that has been so effectively recreated in this experience.
Taking audiences back to 1929, we uncover the story of the glamorous Stella, who is in charge of the Lost Love Speakeasy and along with her house band entertaining guests. But soon someone from her past turns up to remind Stella that she wasn’t always the star that people know her as now.
Written by playwright Juliet Gilkes Romero, the story behind The Lost Love Speakeasy could easily have been developed more to allow audiences more understanding of Stella’s background and her relationship with Shorty to get a clearer picture of her motivations. That being said you really feel the poignancy and sincerity of their relationship thanks to April Koyejo-Audiger and Samson Ajewole’s charming performances. But where the show really shines is the fantastic arrangements of classic jazz songs such as ‘Puttin’ on the Ritz’ , ‘Mack the Knife’ and ‘Sweet Lorraine’ by Steffan Rees, performed with great energy and enthusiasm by the live band and keeps the evening flowing beautifully. In this regard, the show reflects the era beautifully and keeps it engaging throughout.
Everything has been designed to compliment the era in which the story is set to great effect. In particular, the set design by Abby and Alice features some wonderful elements – that make you genuinely feel like you are in a speakeasy, while Matt Whale’s lighting design gorgeously reflects the style of music – particularly when Stella (April Koyejo-Audiger) is singing a gorgeous rendition of ‘Stardust’ that is mesmerising to watch and listen to.
The menu in terms of both cocktails and food are exciting to sample. In particular, the French 75 cocktail (champagne, gin, lemon) is a particularly decadent and sophisticated drink to sip on while you sit back and take in the music. Meanwhile, the food menu created by Temper Restaurants’ Executive Chef Neil Rankin is inspired wonderfully by the flavours of South Carolina and New York but with a contemporary twist and a bit of kick spice wise that makes for exciting sampling. I particularly enjoyed the starter ‘Shorty’s catch’ (Tuna, watermelon, Hoppin’ John, seasame) that was filled with exciting flavour and the delicate lightness of the ‘New York Beignet’ (cheesecake with four roses bourbon and salted caramel).
It has to be said though for those with a disability or who struggle to climb up stairs, given the location of this it might be a struggle to visit so it would be worth checking before booking to see what can be done in terms of access – as this is a speakeasy that is well worth visiting.
Overall, The Lost Love Speakeasy is a sophisticated, lively and hugely enjoyable experience featuring great live music and a menu that that excites the tastebuds. Well worth a visit.
By Emma Clarendon
The Lost Love Speakeasy continues to take place at a secret location until the 30th June.