At a hearing on Thursday 21 November, the London Borough of Camden’s Licensing Committee refused permission for an alcohol licence for immersive zombie theatre, Variant 31 in Bloomsbury, London.
The show’s American producer Dalton M Dale told Camden Licensing committee that he would like an alcohol licence so that “guests can discuss their experience after the show, over a drink or two”, just like any other theatre bar. Although he offered to restrict audiences to one alcoholic drink before performances, he refused to accept any condition limiting how much they could have afterwards.
Gerald Gouriet QC suggested that in reality Mr. Dale wanted to licence a very large area several times the size of a normal theatre bar, in which an unlimited number of people could stay and drink for as long as they wanted.
The Council refused the licence on the ground that it would inevitably put more people onto the streets who had been drinking, in an area of London already under stress because of the number of alcohol-led premises.
Gerald Gouriet QC represented local resident. Anastasia Karseras.
Press coverage: The Times.