100 Things to do in (and around) Bournemouth 74 – The Black Cherry Theatre Cafe

The Black Cherry is a theatre themed cafe/bar in Boscombe. I’ve been meaning to go for a while now, and finally got round to it tonight.

The Black Cherry
The Black Cherry

Getting There

The suburb of Boscombe is a couple of miles east of Bournemouth. The Black Cherry is in the centre of Boscombe in the pedestrian precinct in Christchurch Road, next to Sainsburys supermarket. It is easily reached by public transport with buses 1, 1a, 1b and M2 stopping at nearby Boscombe Bus Station. To drive, head for Hawkwood Road where there is ample Pay & Display parking to the rear of Sainsburys (£3.50 for 4 hours). You can then walk through the supermarket, or the adjacent alleyway to reach the Black Cherry. The venue is easy to spot as the front has been decorated with a theatrical cherry theme by local artist LucanArt.

The Black Cherry
The Black Cherry

Inside, the space has been split into two by a curtain. The front area contain the cafe/bar where you can sit and enjoy pre show drinks and a meal if you so wish. The menu is predominantly pizza. If you choose to eat, a package ticket including tickets, drinks and pizza is available.

The Black Cherry Bar
The Black Cherry Bar

At the rear, behind the curtain is the performance space. It’s quite small, but I found that added to the intimacy. Having lived in London for years and gone to many West End performances where I was in a different time zone to the actors, this was a whole new experience to get so up-close-and-personal with the performers.

Sleeping Lions
Sleeping Lions

The play we went to see was called ‘Sleeping Lions’ by Tom Derrington. I’m going to do something I don’t usually do and merely cut and paste a synopsis of the play: “The invitations have been delivered, the party games are ready, the table is set and the balloons are up. But where are all the children? Mum Katie is convinced that her precious son Leo is the most popular boy in the class but Dad Max has discovered something that tears him apart. Other parents whisper conspiratorially at the school gates and plot to keep their children away. So, whose version of the truth is real? As the parents wait for the birthday party, the clock ticks and tension builds to an unbearable climax. Funny, raw and profoundly moving, this incredible award winning play is guaranteed to take you on a roller coaster of emotions.” I’m not going to say any more, except that there was a lot of rustling at the end as people rummaged in bags and pockets for tissues. Go and see it if you get a chance!

The Black Cherry hosts theatre, music and comedy evenings. It also holds classes is acting, singing, dance and art. Or you can just go for a drink and something to eat. It’s a great little venue and I shall definitely be back for another bite of the cherry…


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