24 November 2014

Curtain up on the Tara Arts redevelopment

It was lovely to hear from local theatre stalwarts Tara Arts that they are now officially beginning the redevelopment of the current site - although demolition works have been underway for some time now.

The new theatre will not only be larger and more accessible, but will have a cafe bar, helping to up the offerings on that side of the railway bridge.

They say:

"Tara Arts today embarks on a year long project that will see its premises in Earlsfield transformed into a new national hub for the production and presentation of cross-cultural theatre, as well as offering a welcoming location for the local community.

The new building, on the site Tara Arts has occupied since 1983 which is due to open in December 2016 will offer:

• A centre of excellence for cross-cultural theatre, with a building inspired by a fusion of architectural styles from England and India

• A programme of theatre that will offer audiences from across London the best cross cultural contemporary & classical theatre, including work created on the premises

• Inspired by outdoor performance spaces in India, the first-ever ‘earth stage’ floor in Europe, in a 100-seat auditorium, an 84% increase on current auditorium capacity

• A dedicated space for artists to develop and share new work, with a particular focus on BAME artists

• Space for local community groups to develop their creativity and for local entrepreneurs to host meetings in a unique environment

• A fully accessible building with an enlarged foyer including a cafĂ©/bar available to the local community and box office facilities open through the day

The new building will be contemporary in design, but draw on the building’s current Edwardian structure and will be energy-efficient, facilitating a 27% saving in energy costs, using sustainable materials throughout.

During the closure period, Tara Arts will focus on touring, including Black Theatre Live, a recently formed consortium of eight regional venues that will work to ensure sustainable touring of BAME theatre across England. The first production will be an Indian-influenced Macbeth directed by Tara Arts Artistic Director Jatinder Verma which is set to tour from February to May 2015.

The venue will reopen in December 2015 to host Tara Arts annual pantomime followed by the launch of a new season to include new work from Tara Arts and visiting companies."

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