Last night, Lambeth Council voted unanimously to grant planning permission for the Ovalhouse theatre to move to a purpose-built new home in the heart of Brixton.
With the theatre’s current Kennington Oval site too small for the organisation’s ambitious vision, the new theatre is planned for completion in 2018. It will offer two theatre spaces plus seven multi-use accessible studios – for rehearsal, participatory work and community activities – and will comprise a significant suite of cultural workspaces, bringing jobs and opportunities for small and medium sized enterprises and supporting the already strong cultural sector in Brixton.
The flexible theatre spaces will have the facilities needed for artists to make innovative new work and there will also be an increased range of training within the youth leadership programmes, ensuring professional opportunities and cross-transferable skills for local young people.
A major fundraising campaign is now underway, fronted by Pierce Brosnan, to make the theatre’s new home a reality, whilst the organisation also awaits a decision from Arts Council England about supporting the new space.
Talking about Lambeth’s Council’s decision to grant planning permission for the new thatre Piece Brosnan said the move would “enable Ovalhouse to continue to operate as the dynamic and thriving organisation it has always been – a vital asset to its local community, to the wider London public and to the creative world as a whole.”
Ovalhouse Patron and Brixton Resident, theatre director Paulette Randall described the experience as being like “having your best friend and favourite colleague move in next door. [Ovalhouse] is an organisation with whom I have had a personal and professional relationship for the past thirty years. The thought of having that on my own doorstep is brilliant.”