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Southwark Playhouse unveils first shows for new venue

The venue will open "Southwark Playhouse Elephant" in January

The new Southwark Playhouse

Southwark Playhouse has unveiled its second location – Southwark Playhouse Elephant.

Based in Dante Place in Elephant and Castle, the venue's first major production of the season will be a revival of Enda Walsh's The Walworth Farce, directed by Nicky Allpress and designed by Anisha Field. It runs from 17 February to 18 March.

Walsh's hit farce follows two brothers on the Walworth Road as they reflect on fleeing their Irish home.

The first show in the space will be an amateur staging of Alan Bennett's The Wind in the Willows mounted by the venue's Elders Company (19 to 21 January), followed by Bermondsey Revolution, a play told by the People's Company and based on the lives of social reformers Ada and Alfred Salter (26 to 28 January).

The venue will rename its current space (now rechristened Southwark Playhouse Borough) until at least 2026, while a second purpose-built theatre, Southwark Playhouse London Bridge, is also under construction.

Artistic director and CEO Chris Smyrnios said: "Conceived in 2006, this theatre has been a long time in the making, having survived multiple developers, the 2008 credit crunch and a pandemic.

"Finally, we'll be able to firmly plant our roots in this amazing and vibrant borough that we call home; we'll be able to showcase even more work by the best new and emerging theatre artists and practitioners; and offer further opportunities for local people to discover and participate in theatre and the arts. And we are so pleased to be opening our new building with two brilliant productions by our community companies."

Further shows are to be revealed.

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