London is getting its first major new theatre since Shakespeare’s Globe opened in 1997, and it’s being headed up by Nicholas Hytner and Nick Starr, the dream team who turned the National Theatre into the most successful in the world.
The theatre doesn’t currently have a name, but will be a 900-seater at Tower Bridge, part of the One Tower Bridge complex. It will play home to the London Theatre Company, Hytner and Starr’s new company. The two said: 'While London is fortunate in its heritage of Victorian and Edwardian theatres, relatively few new theatres of scale have been built in London in the last hundred years. It feels like the time is right for a new theatre that answers the needs of contemporary theatre-makers and audiences, and which will be the home to our new independent producing company.’
Meanwhile, Mayor Boris Johnson, said: ‘Bringing two of the most respected names in British theatre to this part of south London is fantastic news. Their well-deserved reputation and The London Theatre Company's location will ensure it becomes a magnet for theatregoers and other culture lovers.'
The theatre opens in 2017 and it’ll be fascinating to see what is programmed – will it effectively be the same as the NT’s similarly-sized Lyttelton, and will Hytner bring regular writers like Alan Bennett along with him? – and whether a theatre of that size can in fact flourish so far away from the West End.