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The new Playground Theatre opens its doors to local residents

Theatre news

ON JUNE 17, 2017, between 11am and 1pm, London’s newest theatre is hosting an open morning for residents and community groups in the area.

The Playground Theatre, which is set to become the only theatre in North Kensington, will open its doors to offer a sneak preview of what will be on offer when the first production is staged there this autumn.

With family friendly entertainment as part of the morning, this is an opportunity to see the facilities, experience the auditorium, soak up the atmosphere and sample the sumptuous café at Latimer Road and Ladbroke Grove’s new venue.

The hosts on the morning will be founder of The Playground Theatre, actor, producer and local resident Peter Tate along with his co-artistic director Anthony Biggs, former artistic director of Jermyn Street Theatre. They will both be on hand to convey their vision for the venue and explain what the theatre will offer in terms of programming.

Peter Tate said: “Many members of our local community are aware that we will be opening a new theatre but there are many who are not and this open morning will give us the opportunity not only to explain the kind of work we will be doing but also to listen to your ideas. We want our community to feel part of the creative process at The Playground Theatre. We look forward to welcoming you.”

Previously Posted: This autumn, London will have a new theatre.

Tucked away in the Ladbroke Grove area of West London on Latimer Road, just a ten-minute walk from Latimer Road tube station, The Playground Theatre will open its doors for the first time in October 2017 in a converted bus depot in one of the most culturally diverse areas of the capital.

Anthony Biggs, who last month announced that he will be leaving his post as Artistic Director of Jermyn Street Theatre this summer, will join as co-artistic director with the founder of The Playground Theatre, actor and producer Peter Tate.

Previously the Playground has had a long history of supporting artists to create their theatrical visions. Having won the Samuel Beckett award for innovative theatre and worked with many world-class artists, in its new role as a fully functioning venue, The Playground Theatre will continue working with both established and emerging artists to strive to create work that is bold and imaginative, whilst fully engaging the rich diversity of the community of which it is part.

Designed by Jonathan Mizzi Studio with a restoration and conversion budget of £270,000, The Playground Theatre will have a seating capacity of 150 to 200, a totally flexible stage, a full lighting rig, a state of the art sound system and two dressing rooms. The theatre will also include a sumptuous front of house area, which will house the box office and a café bar serving throughout the day.

With the celebrated actors Celia Imrie and Cherie Lunghi and the great ballerina Lyn Seymour as patrons, The Playground’s artistic policy will have excellence at it’s heart and, as the name implies, it will also be a place for play, experimentation, risk and above all fun.

The opening season for The Playground will be announced later in the spring.

Tate originally founded The Playground in 2001 as a space to allow artists the time and freedom to explore and play with their theatrical ideas without the pressure to force their work into a box too early. Since then it has played host to and supported some of the most dynamic theatrical talent from the UK and around the world, both establishe d and emerging, as well as film and television companies.

Artists, who have worked their, include Hideki Noda, Japan’s acclaimed actor, director and playwright, Henryk Baranowski, winner of both Poland’s and Russia’s top award as director, Marcello Magni, co-founder of Complicite and John Caird. Others including Simon McBurney and Rufus Norris have used the space many times to create some of their finest work.

When it opens as a theatre it will continue its function as a development and rehearsal studio during the day welcoming artists to create new work and consolidating its reputation for play and experimentation.

The Playground will also function as a local amenity with café bar and a programme of community engagement activity.

Peter Tate said: “To create this theatre physically is one thing, but what happens beyond the 18th century theatre entrance doors is another. That is the challenge – to create work of a high quality that engages the audience. I am very excited about being joined by Anthony Biggs, as co-artistic director, as I knew, from our first meeting, that we were speaking the same language and that we would work very well together.”

Anthony Biggs said: “The Playground is such a creative space and I’m thrilled to be joining it on the next stage on its journey. It has the potential to be the Almeida of West London – a place where our artists are encouraged to take risks, where our audiences are both challenged and entertained”.