This week, former James Bond, Pierce Brosnan has become the face of a major fundraising campaign to to bring the Ovalhouse theatre to a new home in the centre of Brixton, as part of the Somerleyton Road Project.
Talking about the Ovalhouses’s move, Brosnan said “a whole new generation is about to discover a new Ovalhouse Theatre in the heart and soul of Brixton… new music will be written and performed, original theatre will be seen, new writers will be heard, and new ideas shaped and created. It’s all there on your very own doorstep”
Brosnan gained his first acting experience at Ovalhouse when, at the age of 16 in the early 1970s he was invited to the venue by a friend. Soon afterwards he quit his job as a graphic designer to become part of The Ovalhouse Theatre Company and so began his career as an actor.Other actors who began their careers at Ovalhouse include Tim Roth, Stephen Rea, David Hare, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Meera Syal, Howard Brenton, Oladipo Agboluaje and Nitin Sawhney.
Ovalhouse is embarking on a fundraising campaign to supplement the value of the current site, which will be invested in the new building. This will be driven through a series of fundraising events, individual and corporate donations all fronted by the Hollywood star. The company has also applied to Arts Council England for support.
Deborah Bestwick, Director of Ovalhouse says “we can’t allow our old, much loved building to hold us back – so the history will inform our future. The new building has been designed to liberate contemporary artists to experiment and tell the stories of today. The level of accessibility will enable us to honour our policy of inclusivity, and a new street front location in a fantastic community feels like our natural new home.”