Stockroom Opens New Theatre in London

The theatre is opening to the public in mid-October with the world premiere of the Stockroom production Influence.

By: Sep. 28, 2023
Stockroom Opens New Theatre in London

A nationally profiled theatre company and a national drama school are collaborating to open Collective Theatre, a new performing space for inner London.  Stockroom are coming together in joint-partnership with Collective Acting Studio to run the new venue at 2 Tillman Place, London N7 7EE in the London Borough of Islington.

Opening to the public in mid-October with the world premiere of the Stockroom production Influence, Collective Theatre will be home to both the theatre company and to the drama school. 

The Grade II listed building was originally Hornsey Road Baths and Laundry and has, until recently, been used primarily for the provision of youth services for Islington Borough Council.  Earlier this year its usage was secured by Collective Acting Studio to be home to a drama school.

As well as a theatre with two performance spaces seating 100-150 people in each, the building also houses related dressing room and green room facilities, a café/bar, a recording studio, rehearsal rooms, classrooms, library and office space.  The whole building will be home to the Collective Acting Studio operations and its drama-related educational programs.

The opening production, Influence, which will run from 19 October to 2 December, is written by members of Stockroom’s Writers Room, a cooperative of nine pay-rolled writers under contract to collaborate on the creation of new work for the stage.  It will star the actor Kit Young, star of the Netfilx hit The Shadow and the Bone and will be directed by James Hillier.

Influence tells The Magician’s story.  Descended from and inspired by a long line of mentalists, conjurers, and illusionists, for the first time he brings his skills in acting and magic together, to present an enchanting journey through a long-forgotten act that he is going to bring back to life... With a few new surprises along the way.  The work challenges the audiences’ powers of perception, and asks them if they can really believe what they see and hear? Full of twists and turns, Influence plays with illusion, throwing into question the difference between truth and deception, reality and fiction.

The news comes a year after Stockroom ceased to be an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation. It is an indication of the company’s determination to continue to produce world class theatre and its commitment to its place within the theatre ecology of London and the country as a whole.

Stockroom Executive Producer and CEO, Martin Derbyshire says, “Since the loss of our NPO status we have been working hard to ensure the artists we work with will continue to have a home to express themselves and take risks. We have produced bold political work around the country and the world and now, having been based in Finsbury Park for 30 years, are excited to be continue that work while having a new home to present the best in the writing from underrepresented voices.

We’re thrilled to be working with Collective Acting Studio in what looks to be an exciting and bold partnership and I’ll be working with our Associate Artists Debbie Hannan and Tonderai Munyevu, as well as the rest of the team, to ensure we build a strong community for this North London creative centre.“

Debbie Hannan says, “I am delighted to be working with Stockroom on steering the creative direction of their new space. Working with the partner companies and fellow Associate Artist Tonderai Munyevu, our focus will be creating opportunities for theatre artists to take risks, creating a home for developing the boldest new writing, and building a community around the most treasured of resources, space. In a narrowing world, this space offers expansion, possibility and a commitment to artists and a community that is at the core of theatre, exciting times are ahead.”

Tonderai Munyevu says, “Over the last couple years I have been emboldened by being a salaried artist at Stockroom. Now, I am mindful that the more local a story is the more likely it will reach and touch people beyond borders. This then, is an opportunity to break down barriers so that we may engage and represent a new and diverse local community not yet currently being invited into the theatre. The whole team will now be focused on exciting new stories and the audiences who encounter them.”

Paul Harvard,CEO and Programme Leader - Collective Acting Studio, says, “At Collective Acting Studio we provide high-quality, inclusive actor-training for those who are currently underrepresented in our industry - particularly in terms of ethnicity, disability and class. We also believe that when a student trains as an actor, that this training should afford them the opportunity to have a sustainable career in the industry upon graduation. 

It is therefore incredibly exciting for us to enter into this partnership with such a renowned theatre company. Having London’s newest professional theatre within the building will provide Collective students with amazing opportunities to build their professional network – and be directly involved in the development of new works.  

Against the background of Arts Council cuts, and freezes in Higher Education funding, we believe that housing a drama school and a power-house new theatrical venue under the same roof is a way of creating a new collaborative, sustainable model that will allow our companies to thrive and grow in partnership.”

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