Ovalhouse Theatre moving to a new home at Somerleyton Road
Ovalhouse Theatre is relocating from its historic site in Stockwell to Lambeth Council’s Somerleyton Road regeneration scheme in Brixton. Ovalhouse will anchor the scheme at its northern end and occupy its most prominent position on the corner of Somerleyton Road and Coldharbour Lane, opposite Brixton Village and adjacent to the existing, locally listed Carlton Mansions.
The 30,000 sq ft theatre will be physically linked to Carlton Mansions, which will be sensitively restored and refurbished as a cultural and creative workspace.
The new Ovalhouse theatre has been designed by specialist theatre architect Foster Wilson and will be development managed by igloo, which was appointed by Lambeth Council in 2014 to lead on the delivery of the major Somerleyton Road mixed-use project.
The new theatre will be a fully accessible, fit-for-purpose and sustainable modern theatre including two purpose-built theatre spaces (120 seats and 70 seats), a public foyer and café bar, production and rehearsal spaces, new box office, educational archive space for learning, creative and cultural industries space, offices and an external multi-purpose yard for outdoor events.
As well as the theatre and cultural and community facilities, the wider Somerleyton Road project will provide over 300 homes as part of the vision.
Acting as retained development manager to Lambeth Council and its community partners, Ovalhouse and Brixton Green, igloo will have a long-term interest in the project, providing development management services to see it through from initial concept to completion.
Peter Connolly, chief executive at igloo, said: “This is a fantastic milestone for a project that is very close to all of our hearts. We have been working closely with Lambeth Council and the theatre to facilitate the relocation of Ovalhouse in particular and we are delighted that this is now becoming a reality. We look forward to continuing to work with our partners in Brixton to bring this fantastic community regeneration scheme to life.”
For the past 50 years, Ovalhouse has been part of the London fringe, providing development and performance space to experimental, radical and overlooked artists. Today Ovalhouse is known for theatre, performance and participation that speaks to a world beyond the mainstream, as well as for its tremendous work with local young people and the community.
Ovalhouse is a leader in its field for organisations involved in creative participatory work with children and young people, and continues to be a vital home for boundary-pushing art, artists and audiences with an eye on the future.