Southwark Playhouse is a London theatre with two venues based in Elephant & Castle (Southwark Playhouse Borough and Southwark Playhouse Elephant), both offering flexible, affordable, and well-resourced performance spaces. Everything we do as an organisation is because we believe in theatre – to inspire, to empower, to challenge and to entertain.

We curate and produce an exciting programme of theatre productions throughout the year: telling stories from a diverse array of voices; presented by a talented lineup of theatre professionals at all stages of their careers.

In tandem with our theatre work is an extensive year-round participation programme, available completely free to participants, facilitating meaningful opportunities for our local community to explore their creativity, build confidence, and encourage wellbeing through drama-based activities.


Southwark Playhouse was founded in 1993 by Juliet Alderdice and Tom Wilson. Leasing a disused workshop, in a then comparatively neglected part of Southwark, they identified the need for a well-resourced and accessible theatre space that would serve as a place to showcase new productions by emerging theatre artists, and also be a resource for the local community in which it operates.

Since then it has established itself as one of London’s leading theatres. It curates a programme of world class theatre out of two venues situated in the Elephant and Castle area, as well as offering a varied and wide reaching programme of meaningful participation work.


Patrons Sir Michael Caine, Peter Gill OBE, Sir Simon Hughes, Andy Serkis

Board of Trustees Ken Hunt, Karen McHugh, Giles Semper, Kathryn Serkis, Glenn Wellman, Helen Whitehouse, Tim Wood (chair)

Front of House and Venue Managers Rachel Atkinson (Borough), Maya Tonkin (Elephant)

Programming Associate Ebenezer Bamgboye

General Manager Emma Bentley

Deputy Technical Managers Francis Botu, Fergus Carver

Front of House Supervisors Lilly Butcher, Caecilia Levraut

Marketing and Communications Manager Jessica Clot

Production Associate Jethro Compton

Technical and Production Manager Lee Elston

Marketing Officer Megan Gibbons

Participation Administrator Katie McKenna

Artistic Director & CEO Chris Smyrnios

Sales and Ticketing Manager Charlotte Spencer

Venue Cleaner Aklilu Sabew Tebeje

Duty Managers Ella Caney-Willis, Milla James-Lewis, Lillian Worden

Duty Managers (Casual) Sammie John, El Simoens

Head of Participation David Workman

Box Office and Welcome Team Max Alexander-Taylor, Gareth Hackney, Trelawny Kean, Teigan Macphee, Laura Masters, Olive Pascha, Emma Salvo, Frewyn Thursfield.

Front of House and Bar Team Ana Amado, Amy Atkinson, Lois Brown, Lilly Butcher, Théo Buvat, Arlo Carter, Angie Chan, Tatiana Dal Corso Polzot, Suzie Digby, Fraser Dodds, Sibel Ercan, Beth Graham, Nicola Hurst, Milla James-Lewis, Sammie John, Emma Langan, Julia Lelewel, Caecilia Levraut, Nell Mitchell, Choolwe Laina Muntanga, Helena Purvis, Charlotte Rutherfoord, El Simoens, Mat Willis

We Need Your Support

It’s been a difficult few years and things don’t seem to be letting up anytime soon. 

Southwark Playhouse is a registered charity that delivers a year-round programme of entertaining and enriching work yet receives no regular funding.

Why not consider making a donation to help us keep on keeping on during these tough times!

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