South London's erratic temple of the avant-garde
The forward-thinking Battersea Arts Centre, which inhabits the old Battersea Town Hall, has become synonymous with experimental theatre. Under long-term artistic director David Jubb it's styled itself as home of 'scratch' (work-in-progress) performance, but frequently breaks cover with mini-festivals of finished work and the occasional huge, mad project – notably Punchdrunk's immersive 'Masque of the Red Death', which totally took over the entire theatre for a year. It also fosters strong links with the local community – not least as a venue to get married in – and is popular with comedians as a venue for trialling new work.
It has a constantly festival air, with cheap tickets and a convivial bar that offers a wide selection of beers and decent tapas.
Its occasionally turbulent history has been marked by at least one theatre of closure due to loss of funding, and a dramatic fire in March 2015 that closed large portions of the building.
To the outside eye, however, BAC remains indestructible, with fire damage just another phase in a building that's in constant flux and development.
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Gecko Theatre's original 2015 run of 'Missing' was cut short by a blaze that seriously damaged Battersea Arts Centre, destroying its main performance space, Grand Hall. So it's pretty wonderful to see that this surreal dance theatre show is getting to...Experimental Thursday September 6 2018 - Saturday September 15 2018
Exiled from his native Egypt, Adam is looking for somewhere that feels like home. This National Theatre of Scotland production, transferring to BAC after opening at the 2017 Edinburgh Festival, explores gender identity and borders by staging the true story...Experimental Tuesday September 18 2018 - Saturday September 29 2018
I'm a Phoenix, Bitch
Bryony Kimmings is back! After a relatively low-profile spell, the mouthy, hilarious, and inventive performance artist is making a new solo show at Battersea Arts Centre. She's probably best known for 'A Pacifist's Guide to the War on Cancer', a huge,...Experimental Wednesday October 3 2018 - Saturday October 20 2018
The Paper Cinema's Macbeth
Paper Cinema combine intricate illustrations, overhead projectors and a live score to create live movies before your eyes. Their take on 'Macbeth' mixes furious battles with carefully drawn characters, in a haunting take on Shakespeare's classic.Shakespeare Tuesday October 9 2018 - Saturday October 27 2018
Chekhov's First Play
Dead Centre's meta-theatrical excavation of Chekhov comes to Battersea Arts Centre after a hit premiere in Dublin, and national tour. Dead Centre are the young Irish company behind unsettling, haunting play 'Lippy' at the Young Vic, about the true story...Experimental Wednesday October 31 2018 - Saturday November 10 2018
'SUPERBLACKMAN' is the story of Al, who discovers he can fly - and creates a graphic novel to tell his story. It's created by Lekan Lawal, as part of a partnership between BAC, Bush Theatre, and Artistic Directors of the Future. Ages 14-plus.Experimental Thursday November 15 2018 - Saturday December 1 2018
Return to Elm House
Battersea Arts Centre was a pretty wonderful place to explore even before a huge redevelopment project restored the Grand Hall, post fire. Now kids will get a chance to adventure down its corridors with 'Return to Elm House', an interactive show that's...Children's Saturday December 1 2018 - Sunday December 30 2018
This review is of the show's 2014 run. Little Bulb's 'Orpheus' returns to Battersea Arts Centre in December 2018. Watching Little Bulb’s batshit bonkers, meta-theatrical retelling of the Greek legend of Orpheus is a bit like watching Professor Brian...Drama Wednesday December 5 2018 - Sunday December 30 2018
Average User Rating
4.9 / 5
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I keep remembering the Mask of the Red Death. Can't get it out of my head. It's got to THE venue in London capable of handling such an immersive event. I wish to god they'd do it again!
Beautiful building ,refurbished to high standard,great theatre,comedy and art and a great bar with lovely food!
Rising from the ashes.....BAC is a great community resource. Interesting plays, talks, good bar/food and discounts if you become a member which is only £24 a year and helps support them.
Battersea Arts Centre is a brilliant theatre that involves young people in creative and fun yet demanding productions. It is doing wonderful work, getting people involved and for people to go and see.