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Arcola Theatre reveals new outdoor venue with plans to open in December

Dalston will get a new outdoor space!

Arcola Theatre, mock-ups for the outdoor space
© Left: Linda Crisafulli, right: Jon Bausor

The Arcola Theatre has revealed plans for a new venue, the Arcola Outside, set to open for trial performances in December.

Overseen by designer Jon Bausor (Bat Out of Hell), the space is scheduled to open for a series of trial performances in December 2020. The venue will be the epicentre of a festival of outdoor performance, Today I'm Wiser, which Arcola plans to produce in 2021. Full details are to be revealed in due course.

The Arcola's co-founders Mehmet Ergen and Leyla Nazli said: "We are likely to be living with Covid-19 for some time, and it's so important that we find new and safe ways of working. Arcola Outside will enable us to welcome audiences back, and to create new opportunities for freelance artists and workers who are such a vital part of our industry and society. This year has been the most challenging in Arcola's 20-year history, but with Arcola Outside and our exciting plans for new shows, we are coming back from the brink."

Bausor added: "I'm incredibly excited to be involved in creating a Covid-friendly space for the ever forward-thinking Arcola Theatre to bring much needed live art and entertainment back in Ashwin Street, Dalston. Having been involved in the Arcola since its inception in 2000 this important theatre has been crucial to the theatre and artistic education of myself and many of my peers.

"I'm very happy and honoured to return 20 years later to try and give some of what I've learnt back to provide an exciting new platform for artists at this incredibly difficult time. As well as designing the space to work for the new rules of social distancing, the new 90-seater theatre and bar is a low-waste project that reuses reclaimed and recycled materials as well as providing planters for a more pleasant urban environment."