Crystal clear: Groundhog Day and Waterford Crystal

Waterford Crystal has announced its continued partnership with London theatre The Old Vic. Katy Birchall stops by for a cocktail before the show.

waterford crystalThere’s something special about the bar at The Old Vic theatre. ‘The top shelf is rather beautiful, isn’t it?’ smiles the barman, as he works the cocktail shaker. He’s right, of course. The top shelf of Mark’s Bar—a collaboration between the iconic theatre and restaurateur Mark Hix—is lined with a colourful, eye-catching display of beautiful Waterford Crystal.

Announcing their continued partnership, Waterford and The Old Vic have come together to offer theatre-goers the wonderful opportunity to enjoy the interval in style—sipping a bespoke cocktail, created by Hix mixologists and inspired by the current production, Groundhog Day.

It doesn’t get much better. The cocktail, named Waterford Rita, is absolutely delicious—made up of gin, Cointreau, lemon, sugar and Taittinger Champagne—and extremely refreshing. Drinking it out of a Waterford Lismore Pop, a colourful new collection, enhances the experience—suddenly I feel like I wouldn’t be out of place at one of Gatsby’s infamous, glamorous soirées. The cocktail suits the theatre and the brilliant production currently inhabiting it: classic, fresh, and uplifting.

Which leads me on to the musical itself. Songwriting comedian, Tim Minchin, has united with director Matthew Warchus, to create this adaptation of the popular 1993 film starring Bill Murray—this is a good start, considering they are team behind the outstanding Matilda, on at the Cambridge Theatre (if you haven’t seen it, go. Now.)

If you haven’t seen the film, Groundhog Day is about arrogant, frustrated weatherman Phil Connors (played by Andy Karl), sent to tiny American town, Punxsutawney, to cover a groundhog’s prediction of the start of spring. Hating every moment, he ends up trapped in a time loop, forced to live the same day over and over again, until he gets it right.

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The production is wonderfully clever, managing to pull off what is essentially constant repetition of the same scenes in an engaging and fun way. With a variety of catchy songs, from hilarious chorus numbers to thought-provoking solos, Tim Minchin’s dialogue is slick, clever and full of laugh-out-loud moments. Andy Karl is undeniably the star of this show and, even if you weren’t a fan of the story, it would be worth going just to see this talented actor do his thing.

There is no doubt that Groundhog Day is a hit of the summer season and rightly so. Plus, with the lure of the Waterford Rita cocktail awaiting in Mark’s Bar, chances are high that I will be returning over and over and over…

Groundhog Day runs until September 17 at The Old Vic (0844 871 7628;

The Waterford Rita is available for theatre-goers, as well as the general public. The Lismore Pops collection is available from Waterford Crystal (01782 282650;