London Theatre: New New Cross theatre, London

Transpontine reports that a new fringe theatre is opening on the New Cross / Deptford borders, 443 New Cross Road.

Called the London Theatre (although they're trying to sell the naming rights), it will open in September and host plays and comedy productions.

The venue will be available to hire at a low cost, to make it accessible to artists, but team says they are more interested in staging rarely-performed classic plays than experimental theatre:

Our artistic director Harry Denford joined us after a number of years directing at regional theatres and has over 15 years experience in large scale theatre tours including directing a short season at London's Rose Theatre. He is also the artistic director for 'Shakespeare in The Park' which is a major large scale outside touring company, and co founder of Practical Productions which has had professional productions produced at over 180 UK theatres in the last 7 years.

Our artistic policy means that we don't take every production who wishes to hire the venue, in fact for many, we will do a 70/30 split if we feel the production is of interest to us and we could develop it for regional and larger theatre tours.

After the loss of the Hot Tap Theatre it's exciting to see a new arts venue spring up at this end of town.


has access to the internet said...

nothing else from any of the other local blogs?


harry said...

Lewisham council only recently granted our ents licence so at present building work is being undertaken and also used as the training centre for The London Comedy Course to teach stand up comics in association with Up The Creek. Plus art gallery is opening in venue next door I found out yesterday.

Ian on the Hill said...

Finally got along to this last week to see 'Joy Division'. Bit disappointing as a play (at 50 minutes run time I was wondering what happened to the other two acts. Peculiarly abbreviated), but a great performance from the cast. Smallest theatre EVER! Well worth a visit and I'll be going along to their comedy night.

Simon and Gillian Mulholland said...

Feeling a bit of a idiot as just come from seeing 'The Wood Demon' at this venue and I never bothered to read the bit that said the performance will be staged as it was written, in Russian. Nobody speaking English around me in the little bar should have given me a clue. Having said that, although never understood a word, I knew the plot and followed it with ease with their amazing cast of Russian actors. This is a baby theatre, full but small with about 40 seats only and the action is so close you can really feel the actors tension in some of the scenes. What a great little find and I never knew so many Russians lived in New Cross, then I came out and discovered they didn't, lots of expensive blacked out windowed cars parked up outside with their drivers waiting. Nice bar staff and I think New Cross now has its own secret little gem in this place.

Liam Wallace said...

Agree on the bar staff, uber friendly and great advice on beer choice - their Pilser is devine. The venue we found out had quite a past including being a sound studio and before that a notorious nightclub. We saw 'Club Class' with five actors performing, which I think is the most for the size of the theatre. We counted 34 seats so not sure how they arrange seating for their max of 50 as it looked packed with 34 of us in there. Really good play and lots of fun for us and the actors performing. There was no set, just two airline seats - not sure if this little theatre will cope with lots of set however. I think this little place may have cornered a market and I wish them every success and will be back. Also loving the choice of name 'The London Theatre'. I can just see loads of American tourist booking tickets for a big West End theatre and ending up in New Cross, 'Well honey this is The London Theatre - how come they are not showing Phantom of the Opera anymore'

Anonymous said...

'a notorious nightclub'... really?! what was notorious about it out of interest? I don't remember that at all

harry said...

We have been getting lots of conflicting stories about the past history of our venue before we moved in and built a theatre here. Facts we can confirm include that it was a sound studio for a number of years and 'Arc Sound' who were here before us moved to bigger premises a mile or so away and still operating. Before that it was a nightclub called 'Marlowes' and every local we speak to seems to have a different story about the place when it was a nightclub. We have been told it was a well known and respected gay venue, we have been told it was an illigal drinking den shut down by the police in the 80's, someone said it was shut down after a stabbing outside. Someone else said it was a Resturant which did music. We know it was a doctors surgery in the 1970's as the receptionist came to one of our shows. We also know that the neon sign saying Marlowes which was outside was going to be bought and archived by the National Theatre but got damaged in transit. I assume the name came from the association with Marlow who was murdered in Deptford four hundred years ago.
When we got planning permission for the theatre, it had never had planning for a nightclub ever issued, just planning for a sports and social club. When we got our entertainment licence and drinks licence, the police told us it was because it will be a theatre and even they made it clear no drinks licence will ever be issued if it was converted it back to a nightclub because of it's past.
Anyone actually go to it when it was a nightclub and what was it really like?

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