Overtures piano bar to return with new West End home

Last Updated on 19 August 2021 by Showcall Editorial Team

London musical theatre piano bar Overtures is to reopen in a new location at the Hippodrome Casino

Overtures piano bar
Overtures Piano Bar at the Hippodrome Casino

London’s musical-singalong piano bar, Overtures, is returning, taking up a new West End residency at the Hippodrome Casino.

In partnership with theatre production company Fourth Wall Live, it will take over Lola’s Underground Casino from 8pm every Thursday, Friday and Saturday, starting Thursday 26 August 2021.

Considered to be London’s answer to the renowned Marie’s Crisis Café in New York City, Overtures Piano Bar offers a spontaneous evening out with a crowd singing show tunes with just a piano and a pianist playing live.

With no set list, customers are invited to sing as much or as little as they want in an environment that welcomes everyone from all cultures, sexual orientations, backgrounds and singing levels. 

Overtures will also feature regular guest appearances from the famed pianists and singing bartenders from Marie’s Crisis Café and will also showcase homegrown talent.   

Overtures Piano Bar was founded by Ray Rackham in January 2019 in the basement of the City of Quebec pub at Marble Arch after the success of a pop-up collaboration with Marie’s Crisis in autumn 2018.

It ran until March 2020 when it closed along with the rest of the pub and theatre sector due to Covid-19. It was kept alive during lockdown with pianists live-streaming from their homes.

Rackham said: “What started as a one-week folly in 2018 led to a permanent establishment that only a pandemic could close. Whilst we were in lockdown waiting to reopen, one thing was clear to me: we had to find a location right in the heart of Theatreland.

“And what a venue: the site where Judy Garland played her last London concerts, which welcomed the likes of Sophie Tucker and Liza Minnelli, and where Ethel Merman made her only British appearances. 

“We never anticipated the hunger of the general public of London in needing a place to sing out loud until the wee small hours. We just needed to make sure our clientele could get from theatre to singalong in a hop, skip or jump.

“I’m so happy Overtures has teamed up with Fourth Wall Live and the Hippodrome to glow up our very unique singalong experience.”

Fourth Wall Live is a collaboration between boutique concert producer Club 11 London and theatrical producers DLAP Group. Its upcoming events include the sold-out Bonnie and Clyde in Concert.


About Mark Ludmon 318 Articles
Mark Ludmon has been a journalist for over 20 years, specialising in theatre, hospitality and drinks after starting in regional daily newspapers. He has an MA in early modern literature and history, focusing on Elizabethan and Jacobean drama, and a theatre studies MA from Royal Central School of Speech & Drama. He is a former panellist for the Olivier Awards. He tweets at @MarkLudmon.