I recently visited the BikeShed Theatre in Exeter to watch a play on tour from the Edinburgh Fringe and consequently got the opportunity to discover a very cool hangout indeed. The Bikeshed Theatre is one of those elusive places in Exeter that you often hear about and think ‘oooh I must go there’ but never seem to actually visit. It was a rainy, dark Wednesday evening and having exhausted the in-your-pyjamas-by-half-nine-and-watching-TV style evening, my housemates and I decided to check out the Theatre and try something different. You can find it on Fore St, towards the mysterious ‘other’ end of the High St. I know for most of us, we like to keep within the boundary of McDonalds/Jack Wills but be brave (like me) and venture down even further, it’s totally worth it!
The place itself really did exceed all expectations. Being underground only gives the BikeShed the feeling of being a hidden treasure in Exeter. Stepping into the bar was like stepping back in time (apologies for the cliché) into 1950s America. Adorned with a hotchpotch of furniture, Hollywood posters, a vintage style ticket booth and a pretty awesome piano sitting in the middle of it all, the atmosphere really was brilliant.
You immediately got a sense of the artistic vision behind the place.
Even the cocktail menu was creative and different from your bog standard bar. My friends and I felt it was our duty to sample a cocktail or two (maybe three…but who’s counting?) in the name of holistically reviewing the BikeShed for Razz. The drinks were mixed in front of us by charming bar staff who were keen to offer recommendations and were very much up for a chat. Cocktails weren’t cheap; the average drink setting you back around £6 but I guess that’s the price you pay for something a little more home-grown and quirky.
Coupled with the fabulously high standard of theatre, the BikeShed is one of Exeter’s gems. The vibe was very chilled and we decided that it would definitely be an option for a night out again once in a while. Don’t be silly like me and wait over a year before discovering such a great thing! The BikeShed Theatre is one for every Exeter student’s bucket list. No excuses.
words and photos by Sinead buckingham, Razz Exeter Correspondent