A peek at Southwark Playhouse’s Elephant site

Opening in November 2022, this new HQ of Southwark Playhouse will be known as Elephant, with current premises at Newington Causeway becoming known as Borough.

Entrance area

Taking up the bottom three floors of a tower block adjacent to St Mary’s Churchyard, just ten minutes from Borough and five minutes walk from Elephant & Castle Underground, the new space boasts a new bar and mezzanine, a theatre with a balcony which can be fully reconfigured to seat 310, and a room for community work.

Bar area

Expanded dressing rooms for 14 people, fully accessible with a wet room; a modern lighting gantry; and roomy gender neutral loos complete the space which is light, airy and full of atmosphere.

Lighting gantry

Southwark Playhouse receives no government subsidy and instead exists on fundraising – the new space has cost £3.8 million and is on a 125 year lease. Options for contributing to the site’s future include paying for space on the mezzanine wall.

Bar mezzanine

The bar area itself boasts a moss decoration to bring the outside in, and a coffee/bar area for working and socialising. Hot food is planned once the space opens up.

Staircase tiling

While the theatre’s planned new space at London Bridge crosses various legal steps, the Borough site will be retained for 2-3 years.

Dressing room

I look forward to checking out the new Southwark Playhouse shows later this year and into 2023. It already has a lovely, welcoming atmosphere ready for showtime!

New theatre space

All photos taken by Louise Penn at the open day tour on 29 July 2022.

New theatre space balcony