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Arcola Theatre

  • Theatre
  • Dalston
Arcola Theatre, 2016
© Lidia Crisafulli

Time Out says

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.

In recent years the programme has tended to be unpredictable if occasionally brilliant: show have often been announced late in the day and it’s tricky to really put your finger on what the artistic policy is actually supposed to be. Still, expect revivals of 'serious dramas', new plays from fresh voices, and plenty of work with a political, international outlook. Its biggest constant is Grimeborn, an irreverent and influential festival of new opera writing that takes place in the summer. And there's also a real focus on community work, with occasional stagings of Turkish language plays sitting alongside dramas by the Arcola's Queer Collective. 

Tickets are cheap as chips and comparable to the fringe. The ramshackle bar is a cosy place to sink a pint before or after the show; it serves tea and coffee during the day, and generally fills up with artsy types on a Friday or Saturday night. The Arcola also has an admirable commitment to becoming the greenest theatre in the UK, with a goal of becoming completely carbon neutral that's demonstrated in its rather advanced-looking toilets. 


24 Ashwin St
E8 3DL
Dalston Kingsland or Dalston Junction Overground
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