The new building is a converted 1960’s office space/warehouse, which provides over 2,000 extra square feet enabling the theatre to expand from a 150-seat capacity Main House and 100-seat Vault space to a 240-seat Main House and 120-seat Studio with, for the first time in its almost 20-year history its own café, rehearsal rooms and a dedicated space for education work. It is planned that it will reopen there in April 2013.
It departs its current premises in Shipwrights Yard, off Tooley Street, following its Christmas production of Philip Ridley's Feathers in the Snow, which begins performances Dec. 5 and runs through Jan. 5, 2013.
After a high-profile campaign backed by Stephen Fry, the theatre managed to secure a permanent home within the London Bridge Station development when it is completed in 2018.
Founded in 1993 by Juliet Alderdice, Tom Wilson and Mehmet Ergen, it was originally housed in a disused workshop, before moving to London Bridge. Its artistic directors have included Ergen (now artistic director of the Arcola Theatre), Erica Whyman (now artistic director of the Northern Stage Company and soon to become deputy artistic director to Gregory Doran at the Royal Shakespeare Company), Thea Sharrock, Gareth Machin (now studio associate at the National Theatre) and Ellie Jones.
For further details, visit www.southwarkplayhouse.co.uk.