24 Ashwin Street, London E8 3DL
- Dalston Junction Station (0.1 km)
- Hackney Downs Station (0.1 km)
- Contact us:
020 7503 1645
- Opening hours:
10 reviews of Arcola Theatre in English
I love this place. Just been to visit the new venue and am very pleased to see they've managed to take the old atmosphere of creativity, community and cheer to the new larger premises down the road. Testament to the great work the theatre does in the community is the continuation and even increase in the Arts Council funding - a rare case these days!
As you'd expect from the location, it's a funky little hip theatre which aims to be the world's first carcon neutral theatre. Which means reusable laminated tickets from what i can gather.
Bar sells the usual beers, spirits, tea, coffee and organic juices and fizzy pop. Prices are reasonable i suppose.
Quirky shabby chic decor, comfy sofas, paperback books to read and ultra friendly staff mean I'm very likely to return
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A fantastic, unassuming little theatre hidden away in Dalston. It’s the kind of place that makes you feel cool just knowing it exists and that you can’t wait to tell all of your friends about. It’s only a shame that such a champion of fringe [weird] theatre is tucked away in a relatively remote place (if you’ve never taken the Overground, this is your chance).
They also know how to make great use of their space, both in the performance sense and just in their lobby - plenty of seating for everyone, but a good amount of room to stretch out. The LED lighting in the lobby is also just neat to look at (who’d have thought that over-sized bike lights would actually work well for lighting a room?). They also serve Monmouth Coffee at the bar.
It’s a shame it’s ridiculously impossible to get to this theatre as they put some really quality new shows on. It’s slightly more obscure stuff, and the crowd occasionally pretentious (there’s some scary middle class, bohemian teens like to hang out in the foyer) and I’m not sure their pricing is right for the area/type of theatre it is, however probably necessary due to funding restrictions.
The box office staff are HIDEOUS however, very rude and surly. Last time they refused to give a couple of girls in front of me a discount as their student cards were 2 days out of date. When the girls explained they had not been issued new NUS cards yet but offered alternative proof of their studies the young woman behind the desk snapped them and denial and went on to be so brusque and condescending they chose not to see the show at all!
The Arcola theatre is one of those places that I’ve been telling myself I really need to visit. However a succession of evenings at the Yoga centre, art gallery or climbing wall have put paid to that happening. And now I have, I wish I had dragged myself there sooner.
It’s an intimate and enchanting space with a ramshackle charm reminiscent of the bars I went to in East Berlin. There’s no sign denoting its existence (that’s so Hackney, darling), so it’s up to you and your Sherlock Holmes detective skills to work out that that place that looks like it could be a theatre and is on Arcola Street is in fact… The Arcola theatre.
I went on ‘pay what you can night’ (a Tuesday) which means that you can be on the brink of destitution and still get to see a play for £1. Result. The people that run the theatre are a very ecologically sound bunch: their snacks (chocolate cakes crisp and olives) are all organic, as are some of their wines, and I even noticed a composting box at the side of the bar.
The play my friend and I saw (The Ballad of Crazy Paola) was quite… ahem… ‘experimental’; a story of a single mother that lived a wild and wasted life with a drummer called Serge. The play centres on her unexpected meeting with Serge’s jealous younger brother, who answers an ad for drumming lessons for her son. I might try seeing Tombstone Tales next time I go; I could hear the action reverberating through the walls when I was busy watching Crazy Paola, and wondered whether I should have been next door!
This is a small urban theatre located within a thriving Turkish community and this is often reflected in the work shown at this venue. There is space to hire to hold auditions and castings as well and there is a bar to hang out/network in for all budding busy creatives with the added bonus of free wi-fi.
Tuesdays are pay what you can night so worth making a trip for on that basis alone.
There is also a fabulous Turkish restaurant with yummy cheap food right opposite - a must for all carnivores!
I went here about a year ago, and saw an awful play…but I’m not going to hold that against them, as it was a theatre company who are famous for being the drama equivilant to Tracey Enim…love it or hate it…is it or is it not art etc etc!
The actual theatre feel really nice, the cafe bit has really nice food, so its worth arriving early just for that. I know as well that they do alot of shows, and have a high turnover, so there’s bound to be something for everyone at some point!
Watching theatre is a magical illusion, that must be well done and well acted to create another world. I have seen two productions here, both in the small space and each time I was swept into another place, mesmorised by the skill and craft of those on stage.
The Arcola is a good place to see it, the seats are close on the sides and front of the stage. I like that intimacy, which is created by such size and allows you to see the detail of expression.
Before entering there is a small and friendly cafe type space for buying a bit of food and drink, if you haven't been, then I suggest as firmly as possible that you do soon.
Fantastic off-west-end / fringe theatre. Both visiting companies and in-house productions.
Studio 1 is the Main House which transforms completely from production to production, often becoming completely unrecognisable. Studio 2 is very intimate and can offer an intense theatre experience.
In house production values are consistantly high but without the ticket prices to match. Almost all tickets being under £15. Visiting productions obviously vary on quality depending on the company but are generally good.
Pay what you can tuesdays are great for the less well off or those new to Fringe Theatre, but often sell out so get there early.
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