South London has long been a hub for emerging stage talent, but now more than ever it’s important to support the movers and shakers of the industry.
With this in mind, we’ve compiled the best indie venues, practitioners and productions to prove the West End isn’t the only place in our capital where you can catch a gripping play, a jolly pantomime or a heartfelt musical, any night of the week
THEATRES Menier Chocolate Factory www.menierchocolatefactory.com An old chocolate factory converted into a thriving theatre and restaurant venue, Menier is a multi-award winning performance centre famed for its fun-loving attitude and magical spark. Current productions include Matthew White’s She Loves Me and Patrick Marber’s Travesties. The Vaults www.thevaults.london A Waterloo favourite, and among the most exciting underground spaces for creative arts is The Vaults. This unusual theatre features a maze of tunnels and unexpected industrial interiors. January saw a controversial production of Harry Gibson’s Trainspotting. Also, be sure to check out The Vault Festival this year, otherwise known as ‘London’s answer to Edinburgh’s Fringe’.
SHOWS Alice’s Adventures Underground at The Vaults www.alice-underground.com Fall deep into The Vaults, a theatre hidden beneath Waterloo station, and lose yourself in a land far removed from our own. Performed by critically acclaimed theatre company, Les Enfant Terribles, this interactive production is both weird and wonderful.
Notflix at the Network Theatre www.waitingforthecallimprov.com Notflix is an entirely improvised comedy musical based around spoofing the sinister algorithm which Netflix uses to generate movie and TV show suggestions. The show is performed by Waiting For The Call improv theatre company.
Wish List at Royal Court Theatre www.royalcourttheatre.com/whats-on/ wish-list Winner of the 2015 Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting, Wish List is a sad and heartfelt story of minimum-wage jobs, sibling relationships and obsessive compulsive disorder. Directed by Matthew Zia. Art at The Old Vic www.oldvictheatre.com/whats-on/2016/art Art is an award-winning modern play about friendship, prejudice and tolerance, elegantly reimagined for its 20th anniversary at South London’s theatre mecca, The Old Vic. Art is directed by Matthew Warchus.
Southwark Playhouse www.southwarkplayhouse.co.uk A quirky studio space that supports local community, this theatre is heralded as one of London’s leading new venues for upcoming talent and original productions. Southwark Playhouse is home to such revered shows as the brilliant adaptation of The Diary of a Teenage Girl, available to go and watch until March 25th. Almeida Theatre www.almeida.co.uk The Almeida is a pioneering company with high hopes of igniting the stage with the very best of UK performance artists. This theatre takes risks, and sparks imagination and debate across the industry with Almeida Questions – a program of panel-led public discussions delving into topics surrounding various shows. Women in Power, a debate on female power roles emerging from their recent production, Mary Stuart is just one of the highlights.