A mystery boat trip from Embankment Pier for press, creatives and theatre folk yesterday took us to Battersea Power Station at the invitation of Paul Taylor-Mills and associates for the launch of London’s newest theatre, the Turbine.
With lots of hints as to location, the 200-seater space turns out to be in the new Circus West Village area, already full of places to eat and drink, and in the shadow of the iconic power station itself, being developed into three performance spaces of its own, due to open in 2021.
As well as the theatre itself, the Turbine will have a pop-up cafe open during the day, and the creative programme will include new work, festivals such as MTFest (such a success at Taylor-Mills’ previous venue, The Other Palace), plus classic revivals given a contemporary spin.
The Turbine has the financial support of producer Bill Kenwright, but it is Taylor-Mills’ ambition for it to be funded by one of its shows running “somewhere in the world” within five years.
We all know small theatres face issues the bigger ones might not even think about, but Taylor-Mills seems upbeat and confident about the chances of his new venture succeeding in this space – Battersea itself has changed massively in a short space of time, and the new Northern line extension is in planning.
The first production at the Turbine Theatre will be Harvey Fierstein’s play Torch Song, directed by Drew McOnie. With all tickets priced at £32 this feels an affordable destination for those travelling to Battersea, as well as the wealthy community based in the immediate environs.
The Turbine Theatre opens for business on 20 August, and will undoubtedly be an exciting addition to the London theatre scene.