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The new theatre space at The Bunker| © Andy Twyman/The Bunker
The new theatre space at The Bunker| © Andy Twyman/The Bunker

London Is Getting A Brand New Theatre In An Underground Car Park

Picture of Harriet Clugston
Updated: 21 September 2016
London’s latest off-West End theatre is taking the idea of underground art very literally. The Bunker, set for an October opening, is housed in a former underground car park in Southwark Street, and will be serving as a multi-disciplinary venue for contemporary art, music, film, dance, and discussion, as well as hosting an exciting programme of risky, cutting-edge theatre.

Adding to the world-class roster of artistic venues that can be found in Southwark — from established venues such as the Young Vic, Globe Theatre, and the National Theatre, to the London Theatre Company’s new theatre at One Tower Bridge, due to open next autumn — The Bunker hopes to bring something new to the table as a one-stop creative hub, creating an artistic community space where people can ‘discuss what they have seen and debate what it means to them.’ Its arrival adds to Bankside’s growing reputation as London’s newest and most exciting cultural quarter.

The new theatre space at The Bunker|© Andy Twyman/The Bunker

The new theatre space at The Bunker | © Andy Twyman/The Bunker

The duo behind the venture are up-and-coming creatives Joel Fisher (Executive Producer) and Joshua McTaggart (Artistic Director) — at 23 and 25 respectively, they are the youngest creative team of a venue this size anywhere in the UK. Besides a 110-seat auditorium, the eclectic renovated space will also include office space, a bar, and a technical booth. Inside, a thrust performance area is marked off by four concrete pillars, with audience seating surrounding the snug space on three sides.

Joel Fisher (left) and Josh McTaggart (right) stand on the theatre floor at The Bunker|©Chris Gorman/The Bunker

Joel Fisher (left) and Josh McTaggart (right) stand on the theatre floor at The Bunker | © Chris Gorman/The Bunker

The project is backed by Laurence Isaacson, a former board member of the Ambassador Theatre Group, and David Lan, the current artistic director at the Young Vic, where McTaggart and Fisher met just 18 months ago. The pair have promised to ensure The Bunker is wired into the larger theatre community, with Fisher saying, ‘We want to share ideas with the theatres around us and find new and exciting ways of collaborating.’

Things are set to kick off on the 12th October with the opening night of Isley Lynn’s Skin a Cat, which is transferring to the venue after a successful sell-out and award-winning run at the VAULT Festival. The months ahead will also see the transfer of Philip Ridley’s Tonight with Donny Stixx (a companion piece to Dark Vanilla Jungle), a brand new Christmas musical, and a double bill of Irish plays in the new year.

The new theatre space at The Bunker|© Andy Twyman/The Bunker

The new theatre space at The Bunker | © Andy Twyman/The Bunker

In between the theatre programme, The Bunker will also curate art installations, hold film screenings, and host one-off performances of both work-in-development and finished shows in poetry, music, and dance, while also serving as a site for discussion and scratch nights with Made in LDN Bridge, a series of open-mic-style evenings in which artists, musicians, and creatives can come together to share short segments of material and to network. A night at The Bunker, we are solemnly promised, ‘will be an event in itself that extends beyond an ordinary evening at the theatre.’ Watch this space.

Skin a Cat opens at The Bunker on Wednesday 12th October 2016. More information and tickets here