Café review: Ludoquist! the board game café

Posted on November 13th, by Rob Preston in Culture. 8 comments

Geekeasy opens in the heart of Croydon

A new board-game coffee bar has arrived in Croydon town centre, opposite the Green Dragon pub in the High Street, on the spot once occupied by Bar Red Square, and since then by the excellent, though short-lived, Moiji Moi Burgers and Pizza Ora. On opening night, Ludoquist is far busier than either of those ever was.

Offering coffee, cakes, … Read More »



Event review: Croydon Operatic and Dramatic Association presents Into The Woods at Stanley Halls, 25th-28th October

Posted on November 2nd, by Rob Preston in Culture. No Comments

Darker than Disney, as ghoulish as Grimm… CODA triumphs at Stanley Halls

It has been nine years since CODA last performed at the grand and historic Stanley Halls in Norwood. That show was Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, and the company has chosen another classic from Stephen Sondheim for their latest production, Into the Woods. And sure enough, four of the men from Sweeney are … Read More »



Event review: Shirley Players presents Curtain Up On Murder

Posted on May 30th, by Rob Preston in Culture. No Comments

This am dram thank you ma’am left me with a very big grin on my face

With two productions a year, each one just two performances but to packed-out audiences at Shirley Parish Hall, the Shirley Players is one of local theatre’s success stories. I rarely miss its shows, and I always enjoy them. There is no pretence that this is ‘community theatre’: this is pure unadulterated … Read More »



Croydon is hung out to dry, re-drawn and quartered

Posted on May 8th, by Rob Preston in Politics & Society. 1 Comment

Croydon’s ‘quarters’ aren’t quite so foursquare

Everyone knows that there is no such thing as North Croydon. There’s East, South and West, and there it ends. Head north and you’ll just find yourself in a weird, noiseless void. That said, some clever person at Croydon Council has quartered Croydon up into four manageable chunks. Confused tourists will be delighted to learn that there is one piece of … Read More »



Event Review: Death to the Pixies and Kenickers at the Scream Showcase Lounge, Friday 7th April

Posted on May 2nd, by Rob Preston in Culture. 3 comments

Rehomed after the departure of Hoodoo’s from Matthews Yard, this gig was pretty much perfection

One of the casualties of Hoodoo’s leaving Matthews Yard was this very gig, now held down in South End. A mere fiver gets you two bands, both tributes to bands who were big in the nineties. The headliner, Death to the Pixies, is a tribute to Pixies, which was not only big in … Read More »



Hoo-har at Hoodoo’s, down at Matthews Yard

Posted on March 20th, by Rob Preston in Culture. 10 comments

Is the venue that brought cool to Croydon in serious trouble?

Matthews Yard is still there. Having arrived in 2012, it’s approaching its fifth anniversary. But will it make it that far?

The place first appeared as a café with a work space, a studio space and Croydon Radio renting an HQ it could call home. Holding it up were the people of Croydon themselves, donating money … Read More »



Event report: Croydon Geek Con 2017

Posted on March 14th, by Rob Preston in Culture. 1 Comment

Now Croydon has its own local con, for local geeks

Two years ago, the Ship pub’s then bar manager, Rae Yates, took the pub, and with her pal Carl Rowland put on Shipcon 2015, a two day event celebrating all things cult TV, fantasy, sci-fi and geeky. There were stalls, comics, cakes, and with the help of yours truly, a couple of special guests who had worked … Read More »



Event review: The Bacon Killer at Theatre Utopia

Posted on March 9th, by Rob Preston in Culture. 1 Comment

This spunky, in-yer-face production is a credit to Croydon’s cultural scene

The Play That Goes Wrong and its spin-offs look set to begin a new trend in theatre. Of course, it’s nothing new for an actor to break the fourth wall to converse with the lighting technician, but these days the gags that piece together such a production could perhaps come to replace the somewhat stale … Read More »



Event review: Rope, by the Croydon Operatic and Dramatic Association, performed at the Royal Russell School Theatre

Posted on February 20th, by Rob Preston in Culture. No Comments

Strong performances, occasional glitches and a real sense of danger from CODA

Why are all of Croydon’s best theatre spaces in schools? Coloma, Trinity, Royal Russell. What is the point of young people having access to such fantastic resources when once they become adults, they find that the only theatre in the borough is Surrey Youth’s Shoestring Theatre?

It’s due to a lack of decent local … Read More »



“Isn’t Boxpark great?”, she cried. I answered: “No”.

Posted on November 24th, by Rob Preston in Politics & Society. 4 comments

Boxpark’s for the team leaders, not for the team

Landing like a Vogon spaceship, Boxpark has arrived in Croydon.

Monday 31st October

Following an opening two day music festival featuring the likes of Wiley and Nova Twins, the people inside this collection of shipping containers joined together like so much Lego roll up their sleeves and prepare to feed hungry Croydonians. I arrive and I explore. It doesn’t take too … Read More »