Twitter Facebook
Off West End About Us Theatre Listings Adopt a playwright The Offies Links Sponsors
theatres
Warehouse Theatre
Dingwall Road
Croydon
London
CR0 2NF
020 8680 4060
info@warehousetheatre.co.uk
http://www.warehousetheatre.co.uk/
Nearest Tube/Train Station:
East Croydon Rail Station
SNACKS BAR
 
Warehouse Theatre History

The Early Years

The Warehouse Theatre was founded by Sam Kelly, Richard Ireson, and Adrian Shergold at the height of the lunchtime theatre boom with the aim of presenting a varied season of plays with an emphasis on new work to the highest possible standards. The first production – Hell's Angels on Typewriters by Angela Wye – opened in May 1977, and the then 50 seat auditorium became an instant favourite with local audiences for lunchtime performances whilst sharing the building with a Caribbean night club.

In 1978 the Arts Council recognised the work of the theatre by awarding a major grant and in 1979 the nightclub closed, evening performances were introduced and the seating capacity was increased to 100. Highly respected touring companies began to visit the theatre between in-house productions and extremely popular cabaret evenings were introduced, with performers including Lenny Henry, French and Saunders, Rik Mayall, Ben Elton, and Julian Clary. Gradually more plays were premiered, with many being specially commissioned by successful writers, such as Sue Townsend, who wrote Groping for Words and Womberang for the theatre.

After the withdrawal of an Arts Council grant in 1984, potential closure was averted when Croydon Council and the GLC agreed to replace the grant. Following a brief closure for major refurbishment, including the building of the bar, the theatre re-opened in 1985 under the directorship of Ted Craig with the premiere of David Allen's Cheapside starring James Bolam. Now concentrating exclusively on new playwriting, initiatives such as the South London Playwriting Festival were launched, giving an invaluable platform to works by both new and established writers. Kevin Hood's compelling new play Beached won the first festival in 1986 and he later became Resident Playwright, writing both The Astronomer's Garden and Sugar Hill Blues for the theatre.


Building On Success

The South London Playwriting Festival quickly became the highly acclaimed International Playwriting Festival, reflecting the number of entries from all over the globe. Finalists have included playwrights from America, Trinidad, Australia and Bulgaria, with the 1994 winner, Dino Mahoney, being half Irish, half Greek, living in Hong Kong. Dino's selected play Yo Yo had its premiere here in April 1995. In 1996 the Warehouse Theatre inaugurated a partnership with the leading Italian playwriting festival, the Premio Candoni Arta Terme and in 1999 a partnership was also formed with Theatro Ena in Cyprus providing selected writers with a window for further productions in Europe. The new writers discovered by the festival have since gone from strength to strength and further productions, radio and screen contracts, and success with other work has followed.


The Building

The Warehouse Theatre is a converted Victorian warehouse, built in 1882 for a sand, cement, and lime merchant. In spite of refurbishments, it still has several original features. There are picture tiles from the 1880's, mostly on the cellar under the main staircase, and a ''crab'' winch and wall crane of unusual design in full working order on the side of the building. Early drawings show that the bar, opened in 1985, is actually sited in the old stable block, with the eating area above in the appropriately named ''Hayloft'' bar.

But the Victorian charm of the building does have its less engaging side. The removal of a false ceiling in 1981 uncovered the planked roof and vast beams and tresses of the original holes in the original roof to let in the original rain over audience and cast alike.

Space is another problem. The office looks like a cupboard crossed with a corridor and is actually another entrance to the auditorium. In fact, until 1985 it was the entrance and many bemused latecomers are still escorted up the backstairs and past the kitchen to avoid walking through the scenery. With so little room to manoeuvre, one (unnamed) actress was once forced to crawl along a wooden beam in the roof in order to reach her entrance after she had left by the wrong door the scene before!

But the problems have helped to encourage the ingenuity and imagination in staging and design for which the Warehouse Theatre is rightly acclaimed – and cheerfulness in adversity has seen staff and audiences alike through many a minor crisis.



The Future

We will eventually be forced to vacate our much-loved building to make room for development on the site, so as the company looks forward to a future in a new building with increased facilities, the spirit of innovation and determination forged upstairs in a Victorian industrial warehouse will keep the Warehouse Theatre Company at the cutting edge of new playwriting.

 

Warehouse Theatre
Nearest Tube/Train Station:
East Croydon Rail Station
click here for a big map


Subscribe
Get Our Special Offers & Latest News from Off West End
pic:OffWestEnd.com logo
NEWS/OFFERS/PODCASTS
SUBSCRIBE
Get Our Special Offers & Latest News from Off West End

ABOUT US | CONTACT US | SUPPORT US | TERMS OF USE | ADVERTISE WITH US

OffWestEnd.com is the London UK theatre information and bookings site that makes it easy to find great plays and performances in some of London's innovative theatres outside the West End. Buy tickets directly from these Off West End London theatres - with no fees and no commission ever being charged by us! OffWestEnd.com - Browse our theatre list below for what's on:
Above the Stag Theatre | Albany | Almeida Theatre | Arcola Theatre | Arts Theatre | artsdepot | BAC | Barbican | Barons Court Theatre | Bloomsbury Theatre | Blue Elephant Theatre | Bridewell Theatre | The Bush Theatre | Camden People's Theatre | Canal Cafe Theatre | Chickenshed | Cochrane Theatre | Cock Tavern Theatre | Cockpit Theatre | Courtyard | Drill Hall | Donmar Warehouse | Drill Hall | Finborough Theatre | Etcetera Theatre | Gate Theatre | The Globe Theatre | Greenwich Playhouse | Greenwich Theatre | Hackney Empire | Half Moon | Hampstead Theatre | Jacksons Lane | Jermyn Street Theatre | Jerwood Vanburgh Theatre | King's Head Theatre | Landor Theatre | Leicester Square Theatre | Lion & Unicorn Theatre | Little Angel Theatre | Lyric Hammersmith | Menier Chocolate Factory | National Theatre | New End Theatre | New Players Theatre | Normansfield | Old Red Lion Theatre | The Old Vic | Orange Tree Theatre | Oval House Theatre | People Show | Pleasance Theatre | Polka Theatre | The Queen's Theatre | Rich Mix | Riverside Studios | Rose Theatre | Riverside Studios | Roundhouse | Rosemary Branch | Royal Court Theatre | Shaw Theatre | Soho Theatre | Southbank Centre | Southwark Playhouse | Tabard Theatre | Tara Studio | The Space | Theatre Royal Stratford East | THEATRE 503 | Toynbee Studios | Tricycle Theatre | Unicorn Theatre | Union Theatre | Upstairs at the Gatehouse | Warehouse Theatre | Watermans | Watford Palace Theatre | White Bear | Wilton's Music Hall | Young Vic
OffWestEnd.com is a United Kingdom (UK) based company serving the international, the UK and London based theatres and theatre goers.
Write to Us at: OffWestEnd.com, 19 Eugene Cotter House, Beckway Street, London SE17 1QS, United Kingdom
Registered office address: OffWestEnd.com Ltd., 19 Eugene Cotter House, Beckway Street, London SE17 1QS United Kingdom - Company Registration No. 5308910



Google+