Southwark Playhouse Elephant: Behind the scenes at London’s newest theatre

LondonWorld went backstage at Southwark Playhouse Elephant - London’s newest theatre - to see behind the scenes at the brand new venue.

From the bright lights of the West End, to the geometric shapes of the National Theatre, enjoying the city’s huge range of musicals and plays is one of the highlights of London life.

Residents and visitors to the capital can now enjoy one more new theatrical venue.

Southwark Playhouse, based in Borough, has opened a brand-new, purpose-built theatre in Elephant & Castle, in south London: Southwark Playhouse Elephant.

It comes amid plans to move the original Borough venue to London Bridge.

Ahead of the grand opening of the theatre’s first major production of The Walworth Farce, by Enda Walsh, from February 17, the venue has been staging two community productions.

The Wind in the Willows, adapted by Alan Bennett, was performed by the Southwark Playhouse Elders Company from January 19 to 21.

Local drama group People’s Company is putting on the newly devised Brechtian production Bermondsey Revolution, about local reformers Ada and Alfred Salter, from January 26 to 28.

Chris Smyrnios, artistic director and chief executive, said: “This theatre has been a long time in the making, having survived multiple developers, the 2008 credit crunch and a pandemic.

“Finally, we’ll be able to firmly plant our roots in this amazing, vibrant borough we call home; showcase even more work by the best new and emerging artists and practitioners; and offer further opportunities for local people to discover and participate in theatre and the arts.

“We are so pleased to be opening our new building with two brilliant productions by our community companies.”