One of London’s top theatres will move from its temporary base to a new building next year.
Southwark Playhouse, which won more awards than any other theatre on Sunday night at the annual fringe theatre gongs, is to get a new home – part of a £100million cultural boost for the London Bridge area.
The Off-West End has been at a former warehouse in Newington Causeway for five years – and in that time has built a reputation for nurturing new talent and material.
It won more awards than any other theatre at Monday night’s “Offies” – for fringe theatre productions, scooping seven honours.
The theatre was housed on a site within the arches of London Bridge railway station until 2012 but had to leave as a result of £1billion redevelopment of station.
The new London Bridge railway station opened last month and it has now been confirmed that Southwark Playhouse will return to a site in the station next year.
The theatre currently has a programme of shows until February 2019 – but no date has yet been finalised for the move.
Current shows include:
- Angry – until Saturday – six gender-neutral monologues by Philip Ridley on subjects as diverse as refugees, millennial anger, and interstellar travel;
- Pippin – a new production of the multi-Tony Award-winning musical by Grammy and Academy recipient Stephen Schwartz returns to London for the first time in five years.
- And from March 14 Old Fools, the story of Tom and Viv, their love and the life they’ve shared together – from first spark to dying light, by Tristan Bernays.
A spokeswoman for the theatre said: “As part of a Section 106 agreement, we are due to open a venue within the new London Bridge railway station redevelopment in 2019.
“We’re looking forward to finalising this with Network Rail.” Southwark Playhouse’s return to London Bridge is part of a wider strategy for the area’s development, intended to strengthen it as a “leading destination” for culture, commerce and enterprise.
Southwark Playhouse is seen as pivotal in helping shape a £100million culture programme, which will be led by Ellie Beedham, currently producer at contemporary dance studio at The Place in King’s Cross. She has been appointed in the new role as arts director for the business improvement district Team London Bridge.
Southwark Playhouse Theatre Company was founded in 1993 by Juliet Alderdice and Tom Wilson. Its first home was in Southwark Bridge Road in 2006.
A year later it was operating in vaults beneath platform one of London Bridge railway station, in Tooley Street, until early 2013. Since then it has had two performance spaces at 77-85 Newington Causeway.