East London's new writing stronghold is a bit erratic but much appreciated
Situated slap bang in the middle of east London's vibrant Turkish community in Dalston, the Arcola Theatre was here before the hipsters and – despite one enforced venue change, to its present former paint factory site – remains a bastion of interesting work in theatre-light east London.
The quality of the programme tends to wax and wane, and you suspect gifted founder artistic director Mehmet Ergen could make a bigger deal out of it if he didn't have various other projects on the boil. Still, the erratic programme is enjoyably unpredictable and occasionally brilliant, hard to pin down in any meaningful may, but revolving around fresh voices and politicised new work. It biggest constant is Grimeborn, an irreverent and influential festival of new opera writing that takes place in the summer.
Tickets are cheap as chips and comparable to the fringe, the ramshackle bar has some lovely old sofas to sink into before or after a show, and there is an admiral commitment to becoming the greenest theatre in the UK, with a goal of becoming completely carbon neutral.
|Venue name:||Arcola Theatre||Contact:|
24 Ashwin St
|Transport:||Dalston Kingsland or Dalston Junction Overground|
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Tomorrow I Was Always A Lion
Based on ‘A Road Back from Schizophrenia’, Arnhild Lauveng’s memoir of her life and treatment as a schizophrenic, this irregularly-titled show marks the first all-British cast production by the prolific Belarus Free Theatre. The action primarily takes...Drama Until Saturday November 5 2016Read more
The Island Nation
In 2009, Sri Lanka attracted worldwide criticism as the government brought a 26-year long civil war to a brutal end. Christine Bacon, artistic director of ice&fire, has written a play that looks into the hidden history of the Tamil Tigers, based on unreported...Drama Until Saturday November 19 2016Read more
Drones, Baby, Drones
This double bill of plays is inspired by a frankly terrifying quote from former US defence secretary Robert Gates: 'From now on, it’s drones, baby, drones'. 'This Tuesday' is penned by playwright Roy Hutchinson and former Sunday Times chief foreign correspondent...Drama Wednesday November 2 2016 - Saturday November 26 2016Read more
Playwright Henry Naylor used to be a head writer on 'Spitting Image', and it looks like he's brought some of the same political bite to military drama 'Angel'. A sharp-shooting female sniper is a Syrian town's last hope as ISIS approaches, and as they...Drama Monday November 21 2016 - Saturday December 17 2016Read more
Average User Rating
4.9 / 5
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This place is innovative, socially conscious, sustainable and with the best atmosphere! Brilliant shows, brilliant team, and a brilliant bar to dissect in afterwards.
Really appreciate having a local theatre with affordably priced tickets and an good quality eclectic choice of productions.
Lots of talent. Saw Swansong the other week and was impressed with brilliant acting and production. Both comedic timing, music and lighting were spot on. Very impressive. Will be going back.
Consistently interesting and entertaining shows programmed by a great team of people. Proud to have this as my local theatre!
More than an innovative and unique theatre space but also a mirror for the changing face of Hackney and London. One of the most diverse and innovative theatre spaces I've ever experienced!
This theatre is producing the best and most exciting work in London. Make the (20 min) trek, it's so worth it.
Excellent theatre that produces and hosts exciting and important plays in an interesting green venue. Good bar too. The sort of thing that's great about Dalston.
I find this website extremely helpful. I am moving to London in April and have now decided to settle in Dalston, thanks to your help!