New Venue Opens Under Waterloo East StationDate: 22 June 2010
As an increasing number of theatre companies take up residence in and under Waterloo station, a new venue is about to open in a disused railway arch under Waterloo East.
The Waterloo East Theatre, which is due to open in September, will feature a 150-seat auditorium with an adjoining bar and box office.
The brainchild of theatre producer Gerald Armin with business partners Aidan Dooley and Pat Moylan, the venue will be a non-for-profit receiving house that will also stage its own community and educational theatre projects.
The planning application was approved last December, and work began in March. According to a press representative: “The arch was a completely empty space, with no facilities. The fit-out had to include putting in toilets, a complete electrical system, a new floor, dressing rooms and storage. This took just under six weeks.
“It might be new, but it certainly isn’t a characterless and impersonal new space - on the contrary, every concern has been given to retaining the character of this historic arch. Even the fittings and fixtures tell a story: the seats have been donated by The Brook Theatre in Chatham, and the lighting operator’s window (just one of many purchases from Ebay) had a former life as a horsebox window!”
The entrance to the theatre is on Brad Street, below Waterloo East station, a stone's throw from the newly opened Old Vic Tunnels under Waterloo (See News, 19 Feb 2010). Programming for the first season will be announced in August.
Meanwhile, above ground, the York Theatre Royal/National Railway Museum production of The Railway Children opens in a former Eurostar terminal at Waterloo on 12 July.