Founded in 2000 by Artistic Director Mehmet Ergen and Executive Producer Leyla Nazli, Arcola Theatre is now one of the most respected arts venues in the UK - blazing a trail in artistic excellence since day one.

Arcola commissions and premieres exciting, original works alongside rare gems of world drama and bold new productions of classics. Our socially-engaged, international programme champions diversity, challenges the status quo, and attracts over 65,000 people to our building each year. Ticket prices are some of the most affordable in London, and our long-running Pay What You Can scheme ensures there is no financial barrier to accessing the theatre.

Since opening in 2000, we have supported thousands of people – on stage, backstage and front of house – to develop their skills and careers. Our annual Grimeborn Festival unlocks opera for everybody, giving young and diverse companies a platform to embark on bold artistic ventures. Through Arcola Lab, we offer 26 weeks of free rehearsal space every year to BAME and refugee artists. In 2017, we won the UK Theatre Award for Promotion of Diversity.

Arcola Participation creates over 13,500 creative opportunities every year for the people of Hackney and beyond – including through our youth theatres, courses, and pioneering Queer, Womens’, Turkish, 50+ and Mental Health community theatre companies.

Arcola aims to be the world’s first carbon-neutral theatre. Our environmental sustainability initiatives, developed with our sister company Arcola Energy, are internationally renowned. In 2018 we won The Stage Sustainability Award in recognition of our ongoing attempts to reduce carbon emissions and raise awareness of climate emergency.

Press about Arcola Theatre

'A timely reminder of the artistically engaged ethic that has underpinned the Arcola’s astonishing achievement over the past decade.' - Lucy Powell, Time Out 2010

‘Arcola Theatre brings the very best of the worlds performing and visual arts to the people of the world living and working in London’ - The Guardian

'…a hotbed of new talent' - Charlotte Cripps, The Independent

'The excellent Arcola theatre proves its worth yet again' - Lyn Gardner, The Guardian

'…there's a palpable sense that something important is happening here.' - The Independent

'Mehmet Ergen could already give master classes in ambitious programming and inventive use of theatrical space. Capable Michael Attenborough, newly anointed artistic director of the Almeida, down the road from Dalston, might take a look. The RSC should certainly ponder the audience 'access' that can be achieved on a shoestring.' - Susannah Clapp, The Observer


Trailblazing sustainability projects as part of our core business, Arcola Theatre aims to be the world’s first carbon neutral theatre. Initiated in 2007 as the Arcola Energy Project, Arcola’s vision for a sustainable, equitable and creative future is at the heart of all we do.

In 2010 we set up Arcola Energy Ltd to take forwards technology development and commercial elements. Arcola Energy specialises in the integration of hydrogen and fuel cells, with a reputation for capturing end-user needs, strong industry partnerships and low-cost UK manufacturing. Arcola Theatre works closely with Arcola Energy, particularly on renewable energy projects.

Since 2012, all organisations that receive regular funding from Arts Council England have to report on their environmental performance. We’ve reduced our carbon footprint by more than 25%.

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  • July 12, 2024 8:43 pm local time

Public Transport: Nearest Tube/Rail Station

Dalston Junction

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