Literary Chiswick, Hammersmith – and Walt Whitman.

Nick Hennegan is in the Pub!

Walt Whitman in 1887.

Nick Hennegan is in the Cross Keys Pub in Hammersmith, London W6 and looks at some of the famous local writers and celebrates American Walt Whitman’s Birthday!


Beer and planning..!

John James, Mark Fisher, Labout Arts Spokesman and Nick Hennegan. Pre grey hair!

How brilliant to meet up with John James – in St James, London – to talk about Birmingham theatre, the old Maverick Pub Theatre days, Two at the BILLESLEY Pub in June and, occasionally… on my part, rubbish! This was us in 1997 at Lorenzo’s in Brum accepting an ABSA Award. (Association of Business Sponsorships of the Arts.) Spot the flyer in my pocket for my play, A Ghost of A Chance, which went on to win a few awards, don’t y’ know!

The Craic is Grand in Chiswick.

🍷🍷🍷🍷 🍺 (4 wines out of 5, PLUS a Pint of Guinness! )

Next Door’s Baby: Music and lyrics by Matthew Strachan, Book by Bernie Gaughan.

The Theatre At The Tabard is earning a well-deserved reputation for presenting productions with top quality acting talent and this musical is no exception.

Next Door’s Baby is the tale of two families living next door to each other in 1950’s Dublin. One family ‘has’ – the other ‘has not’. But they are a mix of generations and attitudes. And, as in all good productions, there are secrets too. Mrs O’Brien is widowed, hard-up, but ferociously proud of her five children – Dickie, Orla, Sheila, Larry and little Conor, the baby. She is icily polite to “her next door”, Mrs Hennessy, whose lifestyle is much easier. It’s a small world – no bigger than the street, canal walk and of course, the local church.

The entire cast are excellent. There are no weak links. They have strong, convincing singing voices and completely believable characters. Some of the narrative is random and the second half is a darker affair than the first, but there is humour too. When the matriarchs decide to enter their babies in a local newspaper Bonny Baby competition a bitter matriarchal feud ensues.

The story is rooted in character and is more a ‘kitchen sink’ musical – a play with music rather than a high-kicking affair. And there is some fine dancing, I could have coped with more!

It’s a powerful, moving and entertaining production and it’s (Sacred) Heart is in precisely the right place. Go see it. But leave your babies next door?

Theatre At The Tabard
2 Bath Road
W4 1LW

Next Door’s Baby

Directed by: Keith Strachan
Musical Direction by: Beth Jerem
Set Design by: Hazel Owen
Costume Design by: Alice McNicholas
Choreography by: Hayley-Jo Murphy
Produced by: Simon and Sarah Reilly for Take Note Theatre at the Tabard