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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This gig-theatre show by Little Soldier is a musical protest by four performers who are hellbent on making a difference. But only one of them is actually a musician... 'Derailed' is a furious riff on ideas of rebellion, apathy and singing out for what...Contemporary theatre Monday May 29 2017 - Wednesday May 31 2017
'Light' is on at the BAC for a limited run in Autumn 2016. This review is of the show's Edinburgh 2014 run. Theatre Ad Infinitum’s breakthrough Fringe hit was 2011’s ‘Translunar Paradise’, a graceful silent weepie about an elderly couple that reduced...West End Wednesday May 31 2017 - Saturday June 17 2017
Rituals For Change
Emma Frankland's experimental performance plays and overturns ideas of gender as something that's rigid and fixed. She chops wood and builds scaffolding, in a physical, beautifully intense meditation on ideas of transgender identity and change.Contemporary theatre Wednesday June 14 2017 - Saturday June 24 2017
'Extravaganza Macabre' is back for Summer 2017. This review is of the 2016 run. As a sprawling former Victorian town hall, Battersea Arts Centre isn’t short of space. Even after the fire last year left its main theatre space in ruins, there are former...Outdoor theatres Tuesday July 4 2017 - Saturday July 29 2017
Average User Rating
4.9 / 5
- 5 star:8
- 4 star:1
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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.