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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‘Great Apes’ review
Ever woken up after a heavy night out and felt that things were a little... off? That’s what happens to Simon Dykes: a drug-loving, Turner Prize-winning London artist who goes on a coke-and-pills binge and wakes the next morning to find that everyone...Comedy Until Saturday April 21 2018
In a Berlin school, an art teacher and student are both trying to escape the world outside. Marion Bott's debut play 'Moormaid' mixes painting with explorations of the fears that are gripping Europe. It's staged by an appropriately international team,...Drama Wednesday April 18 2018 - Saturday May 19 2018
Mike Bartlett's hit the theatreland bigtime with plays like 'King Charles III' and telly series 'Doctor Foster'. Here's a chance to see where it all began with his first play, 'Not Talking', which explores living in a culture of silence. James Hillier...Drama Wednesday April 25 2018 - Saturday June 2 2018
D H Lawrence's play 'The Daughter-in-Law' is one of his best: it's the story of a marriage that's threatened by secrets from the husband's past, and his mother's determination to confront them, as the 1912 miner's strike simmers on. This production at...Drama Wednesday May 23 2018 - Saturday June 23 2018
The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives
Lola Shoneyin's novel is a scandalous look at love and polygamy in present-day Nigeria. It's coming to Arcola Theatre in a new stage adaptation by Rotimi Babatunde, which'll bring this story of a man, his three wives, and the young graduate who rocks...Drama Thursday June 7 2018 - Saturday July 21 2018
Best friends Safa and Aisha follow very different paths: one becomes a teacher in a Newham school, the other gets a job in the City. Rabiah Hussain's debut play 'Spun' explores British-Pakistani life after the July London bombings, and how two women hang...Drama Wednesday June 27 2018 - Saturday July 28 2018
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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!