Theatre News

Southwark Playhouse finds new permanent venue in Elephant and Castle

The fringe theatre space will also open another satellite venue back within the arches of London Bridge Station

The new venue at Elephant
The new venue at Elephant

Southwark Playhouse is to move from its venue on Newington Causeway to a new, permanent space in Elephant and Castle in 2019, it has been announced.

The theatre has never had a permanent home in the borough of Southwark, operating in a temporary venue since the place was founded in 1993.

A new space, with a 125 year lease, has been found on Newington Butts, five minues from its current home on Newington Causeway. The space is part of a new, 'mixed-use development', designed by Roders, Stirk Harbour and Partners. The venue will have a 300-seat flexible theatre space and a studio space for youth, community and development work.

The venue is due to open in 2019 at a cost of £3 million, a third of which has already been raised and will be designed by Foster Wilson Architects.

Southwark Playhouse – London Bridge will open as part of the new London Bridge station redevelopment and will be situated at 10 Bermondsey Street, in one of the arches on the site of the former Southwark Playhouse. The new space will be made up of five arches, and will have two flexible performances spaces – one 200 seats and another 150 seats.

Chris Smyrnios, artistic director of Southwark Playhouse said: "The decision to have two Southwark Playhouses from 2019 onwards came about as a series of twists and turns in our bid to find a permanent home and over the past two years, it has become increasingly clear that this development is an absolutely necessary one for our organisation. It means we can continue our good work but also significantly increase the opportunities we can offer to local Southwark residents and new and emerging theatre artists. There's a lot to do but I genuinely can't wait to welcome everyone into our new homes from – funding pending – next year!"