West London’s Latest Venue:
An exciting new fringe theatre in West London is opening its doors to the public in October this year. The Playground Theatre is a converted bus depot right in the heart of a diverse community on Latimer Road, North Kensington, with neighbouring Ladbroke Grove on one side and Westfield and Shepherds Bush on the other. A remarkably ordinary looking building from the outside, but a real treat once you step through the doors!
Set up and run by co-artistic directors Anthony Biggs (former Artistic Director of the Jermyn Street Theatre) and Peter Tate (actor and producer). Peter and Anthony aim to bring an eclectic mix of the best British writers, actors, directors as well as great European theatre, opera. Classical music, dance and film.
Behind the 18th century theatre entrance doors is a wonderful, flexible space, designed by Jonathan Mizzi Studio, which will have a seating capacity of 150-200. With the added benefit of a café and front of house facilities, the Burnt Café, with its fabulous interior is run by Michelin trained chef Finlay Logan and Honor Powley, it serves a delicious selection of freshly made dishes and is open all day to the public, making it a great place just to stop by for coffee or brunch or lunch.
I met with Peter Tate at the theatre to talk about his new project; he’s a charming man, with a wealth of theatrical experience both in the UK and abroad and full of enthusiasm for his exciting new venture. Peter spoke his own life experiences, which led him to the stage and about his passion for movement and physical theatre, experimenting with new ideas, challenging artists and enabling others to step out of the safe zone and push creative boundaries. And, he told me about their plans to make the Playground very much a part of the local community, collaborating with local community groups and organisations.
Theatre can bring inspiration and wealth to a local community, and The Playground Theatre, with such a strong creative team behind it, is bound to be a great success. So watch this space, I know that I will be keeping it on my radar.