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Arcola Outside, 2021
Photo by Arcola TheatreArcola Outside bar

A new outdoor performance space and bar launches in Dalston this month

Arcola Outside is the ambitious, covid-safe new incarnation of the Arcola Theatre

Andrzej Lukowski

Every venue in London has come up with a different plan to try and battle through the logistical horrors of trying to operate in the middle of a pandemic. But few are as ambitious as that of Dalson’s Arcola Theatre, which has, in essence, built an entire new theatre.

As the name suggests, Arcola Outside is an outdoor bar and performance space built from reclaimed materials just off the theatre’s Ashwin Street home. Although the intention is to use the original building again, Outside will initially relocate all of the Arcola’s public functions al fresco, with a big old canopy allowing it to stay open all the year round.

It’s not actually quite finished yet, though it should be really very soon – see the artist’s impression above – but the bar is functional, as you can see below.

Arcola Outside, 2021
Photo by Arcola TheatreArcola Outside bar

It is due to be fully open at the end of June with the launch of Today I’m Wiser, a long-running festival of theatre and art that will stretch all the way to November: highlights include the excellent lockdown romcom ‘Sunnymeade Court’ (which ran in central London last year), a visit from Mark Thomas with his new show ‘Seriously Annoying’, and the Arcola’s first big in-house production since last year, a new adaptation of classic comedy ‘The Game of Love and Chance’.

‘Today I’m Wiser’ runs June 27-November tbc at the Arcola Outside.

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