Arcola Theatre

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Arcola Theatre
Address 24 Ashwin Street London E8 3DL , Dalston
Hackney, London
Coordinates 51°33′07″N 0°04′26″W / 51.551944°N 0.073889°W / 51.551944; -0.073889
Owner Arcola Theatre Production Company
Type Off-Westend Theatre
Production Repertory productions
Opened 2000
Rebuilt 2010-11

Arcola Theatre is a studio theatre in Dalston, in the London Borough of Hackney. The theatre's ambition is to create and present high-quality theatre with a social and political relevance to its multicultural local community as well as a wider audience.[1]

The theatre features two studios seating up to 240 persons and two rehearsal rooms. There is also a café and bar. The theatre runs a number of community arts activities including youth drama and a writers' programme.


Arcola Theatre was founded by artistic director Mehmet Ergen, in September 2000.

Its original location was a former textile factory on Arcola Street in Dalston. The theatre celebrated this with its fifth anniversary production, The Factory Girls by Frank McGuinness.[1]

Since its inception the theatre has won the Peter Brook Empty Space Award two years in succession and was awarded Time Out Live Awards in 2003 and 2006. Many productions at the theatre have been selected as Time Out Critic’s Choice.

In 2007, an Arcola co-production of Mojo Mickeybo by Owen McCafferty became its first West End transfer to the Trafalgar Studios.[2] 2007 also marked the first season of the Arcola's Grimeborn, an opera and musical theatre festival that runs for two weeks in August.

In January 2011 the Arcola moved to a former paint-manufacturing workshop on Ashwin Street in Dalston, after its previous landlord earmarked the Arcola Street site for redevelopment as apartments.[3] It marked the move by premiering The Painter, a play about J. M. W. Turner by Rebecca Lenkiewicz.[4]

The theatre is also one of the most successful participants of the 10:10 project. Over the course of one year they reduced their carbon emissions by 32%.


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