Description

Mission Statement

Southwark Playhouse's central vision is that of a vibrant theatre in the heart of the London Borough of Southwark, serving the widest possible constituency within the borough and beyond, providing a platform for emerging theatre practitioners and a programme of performance, education work and community drama.

Our primary objectives are

• to produce high quality, cutting edge theatre in both traditional and non-traditional theatre environments

• to offer a fully resourced and wholly integrated education and community programme, providing opportunities for people of all ages in Southwark to engage with the borough's rich heritage and cultural potential

• to support the work of emerging theatre practitioners and companies by providing a well-equipped venue at an affordable cost, with appropriate resources and guidance

• to intertwine the artistic, education and community programmes so that fresh insights and opportunities are offered to broad sectors of users within the Southwark community

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History

Southwark Playhouse Theatre Company was founded in 1993 by Juliet Alderdice, Tom Wilson & Mehmet Ergen. They identified the need for a high quality accessible theatre which would also act as a major resource for the community. They leased a disused workshop in a then comparatively neglected part of Southwark and turned it into a 90-seat flexible theatre space.

The theatre quickly put down strong roots in Southwark, developing an innovative, free at source, education programme. It has worked closely with teachers, Southwark Borough Council, businesses and government agencies to improve educational achievement and raise aspirations. This programme is in great demand and attracts substantial funding each year.

Over the past thirteen years the theatre has established itself as one of London's leading studio theatres, presenting high quality work by new and emerging theatre practitioners. Under successive talented artistic directors, Mehmet Ergen (now Artistic Director of the Arcola Theatre), Erica Whyman (now Artistic Director of the Northern Stage Company), Thea Sharrock (recently directed Equus in the West End) and Gareth Machin (freelance director and writer), it has become an indispensable part of small-scale fringe theatre in London. Its venue hire rates remain among the lowest and therefore the most competitive in London theatre, providing the opportunity to host the best of the emerging companies based in or visiting the capital.

In the years 1993 to 2006, Southwark Playhouse has staged 40 in-house productions, 6 co-productions and 6 community plays and run 40 education projects. Alongside these, it has hosted 105 visiting productions from a wide variety of theatre companies and individual practitioners.

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