In a press statement, Hytner and Starr commented, "While London is fortunate in its heritage of Victorian and Edwardian theatres, relatively few new theatres of scale have been built in London in the last hundred years. It feels like the time is right for a new theatre that answers the needs of contemporary theatre-makers and audiences, and which will be the home to our new independent producing company. With our friends Steve Tompkins and Roger Watts of Haworth Tompkins we've been looking for the kind of space, in the kind of location that could galvanise playwrights, directors and actors. We are thrilled to make this partnership with Berkeley Homes and Southwark, and couldn't be more optimistic for the future."
The yet-unnamed new theatre will become the only commercial central London theatre of its scale outside the historic West End. Tompkins and Watts are both members of the Haworth Tompkins design practice, whose other work includes the refurbishment of the Royal Court Theatre and the rebuilding of the Everyman Theatre in Liverpool.
The theatre will also create a new cultural destination, complemented by restaurants, cafes and shops within this mixed use development. The site has been earmarked for a cultural venue of national importance for more than 20 years, and was originally set to accommodate the Royal Opera House during the renovation of its Covent Garden home. The venture with the London Theatre Company is the result of a 10-year active search by Southwark Council and Berkeley Homes for the right occupier, both in terms of the space itself and the vision for the wider area.
In a press statement, Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, has stated, "Bringing two of the most respected names in British theatre to this part of south London is fantastic news. Their well-deserved reputation and The London Theatre Company's location will ensure it becomes a magnet for theatregoers and other culture lovers."
The new theatre is due to open in 2017, subject to financing and planning. The One Tower Bridge development also is due for completion that year. For further details, visit www.LondonTheatreCompany.co.uk