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Howdy, y’all!

4 August 2018 Suzanne Frost

A dark wooden revolving door down on the King’s Road sticks out like Harry Potter’s Leaky Cauldron did in Charing Cross. A bit odd, a bit mysterious. Enter, and the saloon doors swing open for London’s first immersive Wild West Bar – and the shadiest moonshine business in town.

You are greeted by cowboy Johnny, who isn’t the smartest cookie in the jar, but even he can see that your attire doesn’t quite fit in in the Wild Wild West, and might attract the wrong kind of attention from the Sheriff. So first things first, everybody gets kitted out with neckerchiefs and Stetsons. And Johnny also needs to see the “Moonshine” you brought, because after all, you are here to do some illegal business.
 


Once you look the part, you may enter through the swinging doors and make your way downstairs where Lady Ayda, Johnny’s feisty and way smarter sister is running this secret thirst parlour. You hand over your Moonshine of choice to the bartender (have a think about how much you want to drink. He will easily use up a bottle of spirit) and stretch out your boots, waiting to wet your whistle. There are spittoons on the tables, flickering light from draft swept candles, ram’s heads and sepia toned pictures on the walls and jangling tunes from the piano in the corner, adding to a nostalgic atmosphere. But there’s some shady business going on… every now and then people disappear with the suspicious Ayda to a secret backroom… sooner or later it’s going to be your turn… What will you find out?
 


While you shoot the breeze with spunky Ayda, indulge in a spot of gambling and dice games with Johnny and try to stay under the radar of Sheriff Leroy, who seems to be a bit of an unpleasant fellow, you find out a secret or two about the complicated relations between our three characters. You don’t have too much time to delve into it though, because the cocktails keep coming hard and fast (we had 4 in the space of about an hour). They are all completely delicious, mostly sweet and intensely fruity, and will be mixed with the tipple of your choice. The speedy succession of the cocktails may play a part in the increasing noise level of giggles and laughter…
 


As with any immersive offering, it is very much up to you to make the most of your experience. The more involved you get, the more fun you will have, so for a proper hog-killin’ time put on a southern drawl, spin some yarn and maybe create a character of your own, if you want to get the maximum out of stepping into a new and secret world.   
 
Inventive Productions, the team behind sell-out prison themed bar Alcotraz on Brick Lane, are experts at creating immersive worlds and the Moonshine Saloon certainly looks like it could be plucked straight from the dusty towns of the Wild West. Think of it as a specialty bar though, rather than immersive theatre. While the showdown between our crooked characters comes with a few surprises and you soon need to skedaddle if you don’t want to end up in the big house, it is the drinks that are the main stars of the show.


The Moonshine Saloon is at 535 Kings Road, Chelsea, London, SW10 0SZ
 until 25 August, Wednesday – Friday from 6:15pm-10:15pm Saturday from 12:15pm-11:00pm. Tickets are £33.99 (includes 4 cocktails from brought spirit of choice + 1.45 hours inside Saloon) .
 
London Calling readers can also save 10% when they book a visit to the Moonshine Saloon. Simply use the discount code CALLING at checkout when and receive 10% off the entry fee of £33.99. The discount is available until 23:59 on Sunday 12th August and can be used on visits to Moonshine Saloon throughout August.

 
 
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