Backstage takes its name from its location, being situated below the Zhejiang Theatre of Dramatic Arts. However, its links to the theatre merely begin there, making Backstage an ideal hangout for lovers of the stage, casual theatre-goers, or anyone wishing to rub shoulders with the stars of Hangzhou’s theatre scene.
Coming in the middle of the day, it’s quiet. A handful of customers sit in various corners of the cafe, quietly sipping cappuccinos or reading a book away from the summer heat. The décor is simple, with comfortable sofas or tables available depending on the purpose of your visit. Various photos line the walls of performances past and present from the theatre above and signed photos of the stars that have graced the stage. Occasionally, theatre staff, performers and the like come in to grab a coffee before rehearsals begin. All-in-all a fairly low-key, relaxed vibe.
However, around show time (5-7pm) this place comes alive as audience members and performers alike flood in to transform Backstage into a bustling hub for those on either side of the curtain. Before the curtain goes up, excited patrons can be seen grabbing a coffee and a quick bite as they anxiously wait for the performance to start. After curtain call, the audience and cast members pour back in to grab a drink while they mull over and discuss the night’s performance. If you come around this time, be prepared to stand though as Backstage’s fifteen or so tables are all likely to be taken.
Backstage offers a good selection of hot and cold drinks including Cappuccinos (36RMB), Espressos (18RMB), Milkshakes (36RMB) and simple snacks such as Waffles (30RMB), French Fries (30RMB) and Chicken Wings (30RMB). Backstage also boasts a pretty decent selection of imported beers and wines, mostly hailing from Europe, including the Belgian Delirium Nocturnum (65RMB). Afternoon tea packages are available, starting from 59RMB for two people and 99RMB for a party of four. Free coffees are also available with some ticket purchases (inquire within).
So come to Backstage to relax during the day, or enjoy a show and come in for a beer and, if you’re lucky enough, you might bump into some of the talent. Get the backstage treatment without the extra cost.
Backstage is located below street level and next to the theatre’s ticket office. Parking is available (although at matinee times difficult). Smoking allowed. Menus in Chinese.