Southwark Playhouse Theatre Company was founded in 1993 by Juliet Alderdice and Tom Wilson. They identified the need for a high quality accessible theatre which would provide opportunities for the best emerging companies and practitioners, and also act as a major resource for the local community. They leased a disused workshop in a then comparatively neglected part of Southwark and turned it into a flexible theatre space.
Over the past twenty years the theatre has established itself as one of London’s leading studio theatres, presenting high quality work by new and emerging theatre practitioners. Under talented artistic directors, Mehmet Ergen (now Artistic Director of the Arcola Theatre), Erica Whyman (now Deputy Artistic Director of Royal Shakespeare Company), Thea Sharrock (Olivier Award winner), Gareth Machin (now Artistic Director of Salisbury Playhouse), Ellie Jones and currently Chris Smyrnios, it has become an indispensable part of theatre in London.
The theatre has put down strong roots in Southwark, developing an innovative youth & community programme completely free to all who participate. It has worked closely with schools, Southwark Council, local businesses and organisations to improve educational achievement and raise aspirations.