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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Beautiful (Not The Carole King Musical)
This sly parody of the jukebox musical genre is masterminded by performance artist Paul O'Donnell. A waitress and a docker find forbidden love in a musical spectacular using the songs of Sir Jon Bon Jovi. 'Beautiful (not the Carole King Musical)' will...Drama Sunday January 22 2017
The Lower Depths
This is a grinding production – in every sense. Opening the Arcola’s Revolution season (it’ll be followed by Anton Chekhov’s ‘The Cherry Orchard’), ‘The Lower Depths’ aims high, but misses its targets. In a slum property run by a cruel and corrupt couple...Drama Monday January 23 2017 - Saturday February 11 2017
Cholera Street / Agir Roman
Aylin Bozok directs Arcola Ala-Turka, one of the UK’s leading Turkish-language performance collectives, in a story set in the old slums of Istanbul. It's adapted from Metin Kaçan's bestselling novel and movie, where a mechanic from a well-respected family...Drama Thursday January 26 2017 - Saturday January 28 2017
Thanks to her mega-popular YouTube channel, mixed race Ella is a star on social media. But her skin colour puts her at the centre of online rivalries and offline family strife. Lynette Linton's play is a comic look at mixed race identity in modern Br...Drama Tuesday January 31 2017 - Saturday February 4 2017
'New Nigerians' is a political drama set in a country locked in ideological conflict. Oladipo Agboluaje's play looks at Africa's most populous country, and the disconnect between its conservative leaders and its young population. Rosamunde Hutt directs,...Drama Tuesday February 14 2017 - Saturday March 11 2017
The Cherry Orchard
Madame Ranevsky's estate is on the brink of ruin, even if the cherry orchard is as beautiful as ever. Arcola artistic director Mehmet Ergen stages this classic by Chekhov's with the theatre's Revolution Ensemble, in a new English version by Trevor Griffiths...Drama Wednesday February 15 2017 - Saturday March 25 2017
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!