Reopening Season Announced
22 June 2021
We're delighted to announce our reopening season alongside a freshly refurbished building.
- Bruntwood Prize-shortlisted co-production with Talawa, and a new in-house play that starts online and continues onstage are part of the Finsbury Park venue’s reopening season
- Other shows include a double bill celebrating women’s strength, and the premiere of a ghost story based on true events
- Improvements to the building include a new, improved box office with greater accessibility, a mezzanine extension and an open kitchen pizzeria
- Online masterclasses for underrepresented voices to be announced
Park Theatre is delighted to announce its reopening, starting today with a two-act drama commissioned by the venue that starts online and ends live in Park200, reopening the building on 4th August. The season will include a Bruntwood Prize- and Alfred Fagon Award-shortlisted co-production with Talawa, the premiere of a ghost story based on true events, and a double bill of shows celebrating women’s strength. Committed to nurturing new voices, Park Theatre will also be offering free masterclasses for underrepresented creatives. Audiences will enjoy a newly refurbished building, which includes better front of house facilities and an open kitchen pizzeria.
The season starts with an in house production of Park Bench (22 June – 14 Aug), a piece of new writing by Tori-Allen Martin commissioned over the pandemic and supported by Arts Council England. After a year apart, each other’s ‘ride-or-die’ Liv and Theo reconnect online, but they both have questions too big for small screens. Act one is a free ten-minute drama available online, and act two will see the couple meet face to face in Park200, reopening the building on 4th August. The show is followed by ghost story When Darkness Falls (18 Aug – 4 Sept) by James Milton and Paul Morrissey. Based on a true story, the chilling tale sees a history talk on Guernsey’s paranormal past reveal horrors in the island’s more immediate present.
Postponed from the 2020 Spring Season, Park Theatre have partnered with leading Black British theatre company Talawa to co-produce A Place for We (7 Oct – 6 Nov) by Archie Maddocks. Shortlisted in 2017 for both the Bruntwood Prize and Alfred Fagon Award, Archie Maddocks' bittersweet comedy holds a mirror up to the ever-changing face of London’s communities in search of their common beating heart through Trinidadian funeral director Clarence and fifth generation Irish pub owner George.
Also in the season, Oxford School of Drama students will perform new work 39 and Counting (8-11 Sept) by Shireen Mula which aims to dispel many of the myths around violence to women, and women’s strength will be celebrated in the Park90 double bill Say it, Women (12 Oct – 6 Nov). The double bill is made up of Flushed by Catherine Cranfield, which centres around two sisters grappling with the implications of a recent diagnosis of one’s rare medical condition, and Sold from Kuumba Nia Arts and Unlock the Chains Collective, the extraordinary journey of Mary Prince who was born into slavery in the British Colony of Bermuda and went on to become an auto-biographer and champion of freedom.
Artistic Director Jez Bond said, “We can’t wait to reopen our doors this August – not only with a brilliant programme of shows, but with a newly refurbished building too. We’re particularly excited to be working on A Place for We with Talawa once again, after the postponement of the original run from spring 2020, and to be working with playwright Tori Allen-Martin on her new play Park Bench which takes the audience on a journey from the world of digital theatre back to the live stage. Audiences coming back to the venue will be able to enjoy the new mezzanine seating area, a more accessible box office and enjoy the theatricality of the new open plan pizza kitchen. We’re hugely grateful to everyone who has supported us so far, and I look forward to giving audiences the warm and safe welcome back they deserve.”
Park Theatre has been refurbished during lockdown to improve the audience experience. The front of house area has been enlarged with a new mezzanine extension providing more space to eat and drink as well as improved flow of customer traffic. The downstairs bar has also been treated to an extension with an open plan pizza kitchen, adding extra theatricality to your evening. The old kitchen has been transformed into a new, dedicated box office space with improved accessibility for staff and customers, and TV screens have been installed for both Park200 and Park90 spaces so that latecomers will miss as little as possible before being admitted at an appropriate moment. Improved accessibility has been provided with enhanced signage throughout the building and modifications to the toilets. Building staff, volunteers and visiting companies will also benefit from a new stage management office and improved backstage offices.
Taking heart from evidence so far that shows theatre to be at low risk from Covid-19, Park Theatre will be reopening in line with government and UKTheatre guidelines, making sure audiences can See It Safely.
Executive Director Rachael Williams said, “We’re thrilled to be reopening our venue after over a year of closure. We have always prided ourselves on being a warm and welcoming venue to visit, and that’s why we’ve ensured we have appropriate measures in place to make sure audiences are safe and comfortable. We’ve invested in hand sanitising stations, an enhanced cleaning regime and contactless ticket technology and will be requiring all audience members to wear face coverings unless exempt. We’ll be publishing all this information in our pre-show email and on our website so customers know what to expect and, as always, our friendly team will be happy to help with any additional questions. We’ll be proudly displaying the SOLT See It Safely mark and are so looking forward to having audiences back in our newly refurbished theatre.”
To nurture creatives and to encourage a more diverse industry, Park Theatre will be offering free workshops, called Park Sessions, for underrepresented voices in July. The schedule – soon to be announced following its postponement from original dates in January – will cover a range of topics from fundraising to devising to lighting. Led by experts in their fields, these in person workshops (virtual tickets also available) are free to those who identify as working class, working class LGBTQ+, D/deaf or disabled, and those from a culturally diverse heritage.