Puneet Varma (Editor)

Park Theatre (London)

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Public transit
Finsbury Park

David Hughes

11 Clifton Terrace Finsbury Park London, N4 3JP

2013; 4 years ago (2013)

Park Theatre opened on 8 May 2013 in Finsbury Park, London. Described as "a neighbourhood theatre with global ambition," it offers a mixed programme of new writing, classics, and revivals. As well as the main auditorium seating 200, the building includes a 90-seat studio theatre, a rehearsal space and a Café Bar.



In November 2009, Artistic Director Jez Bond and Creative Director Melli Marie acquired a disused three-storey office building at 11-13 Clifton Terrace. Planning permission was granted in October 2010. The theatre was designed by David Hughes. Following a campaign supported by prominent theatre figures such as Sir Ian McKellen and Alan Rickman, the £2.6m cost was met by private donors and by the sale of flats built above the theatre.

The two auditoria, Park200 and Park90, have natural light which can be blacked out electronically. Park200 is a thrust stage with fixed seating on three sides, and can be configured for “theatre in the round.” Park90’s flexible seating can be laid out in a range of configurations. The Morris Space on the third floor is used for workshops, classes, and performances for up to 60 people. Backstage are three dressing rooms, a green room, wardrobe, offices and prop stores. The Café Bar also hosts occasional cabaret and songwriting performances.


Highlights of the opening season included the UK premiere of These Shining Lives by Melanie Marnich with a cast featuring Honeysuckle Weeks and Charity Wakefield and the world premiere of Oliver Cotton's Daytona, starring Maureen Lipman, which then toured the UK. Since then, the theatre has premiered a number of productions that have transferred to London's West End or gone on national tour.

The theatre has had critical and box office successes with different types of productions. These include:

  • New British plays by British authors including Sarah Rutherford's Adult Supervision (September 2013), Andrew Keatley's The Gathered Leaves (July 2015), and Jonathan Lynn's The Patriotic Traitor (February 2016). Journalist-turned-playwright Jonathan Maitland's Dead Sheep and An Audience with Jimmy Saville both drew sellout crowds in 2015.
  • Revivals such Richard Bean's Toast (August 2014) and David Hare's The Vertical Hour (September 2014), both of which premiered at the Royal Court Theatre.
  • UK premieres or revivals of acclaimed North American plays such as Almost, Maine (December 2015) and The Boys in the Band (October 2016), the latter subsequently transferring to the West End.
  • Musicals such as The Buskers' Opera (April 2016) and The Burnt Part Boys (August 2016).
  • The theatre has also presented innovative work such as Grounded which incorporated British Sign Language (October 2015), and Brainstorm (2015), an exploration of the teenage brain in cooperation with Islington Community Theatre, the Wellcome Trust and the National Theatre. Avaes Mohammad's double bill about radicalization in the UK Hurling Rubble at the Sun/Hurling Rubble at the Moon was premiered in May 2015.

    Park Theatre won the The Stage magazine's Fringe Theatre of the Year Award for 2015. Reflecting the theatre's unsubsidized status (it is a registered charity), the majority of plays have been financed by external production companies, with Park Theatre acting as the host venue. It plans to stage an increasing number of in-house productions as funds become available.

    Script Accelerator

    Park Theatre's Script Accelerator programme began in 2013, inviting producers or theatre companies to pitch a play they would like to develop. Six are selected each year. Each producer selects actors and a director, and is given professional advice and working time within the building to develop the script. The four-weeks process culminates with a 20-minute critiqued presentation of each piece to an audience in Park200. Some scripts have gone on to full productions. Hot Coals Theatre Ensemble's Storm in a Teacup (February 2014) and Michael Ross's Happy to Help (June 2016) were both Script Accelerator selections which went on to play in Park90's regular season.

    Social responsibility

    Like many of London’s independent theatres, Park Theatre aims to be both a good neighbour locally and a progressive social influence. With donor support, it discounts a substantial number of tickets for local residents and schools each season, and runs acting classes for local children (Playground Players) and adults (Park Players). In 2016 it began a Reminiscence therapy programe for people affected by dementia and their carers. The theatre has a policy of transparency and open-book accounting for both in-house and incoming productions, in an effort to ensure that actors are properly paid.


    Park Theatre (London) Wikipedia

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