We are Southwark Playhouse, 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.  We curate an exciting programme of theatre productions throughout the year, showcasing work by a diverse array of talented theatre professionals at all stages of their careers.

Inspiring (and responding to) our theatre work is an extensive participation programme, available completely free to participants, facilitating meaningful opportunities for our local community to explore their creativity, build confidence, and encourage well-being 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)

General Manager Emma Bentley

Deputy Technical Managers Francis Botu, Fergus Carver

Marketing and Communications Manager Jessica Clot

Production Associate Jethro Compton

Technical and Production Manager Lee Elston

Artistic Director & CEO Chris Smyrnios

Sales and Ticketing Manager Charlotte Spencer

Venue Cleaner Aklilu Sabew Tebeje

Duty Managers Lillian Worden

Head of Participation David Workman

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

Front of House and Bar Team Ana Amado, Amy Atkinson, Theo Buvat, Arlo Carter, Angie Chan, Ramon Duarte Ayres, Sarah Farrell, Jack Gibson, Nicola Hurst, Milla James-Lewis, Sammie John, Ewa Korda, Julia Lelewel, Suzanne-Marie Digby, Nell Mitchell, Lois Mulvenna, Helena Purvis, Charlotte Rutherford, El Simoens, Mathew 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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