Omnibus Theatre, the award-winning independent Off-West end venue in Clapham, South London announces plans for a significant reconfiguration of its 130-year old building following the launch of a £150,000 fundraising campaign.
Marks Barfield, the architects behind one of London’s most iconic landmarks, The London Eye, will be spearheading the design of a new café/bar/creative hub space, the reconfiguration of an existing rehearsal room and office space.
The redevelopment will also enable the organisation to increase its outreach and participation programmes. Activities taking place in the café/bar will also include storytelling sessions, afterschool clubs and creative writing worships.
The plans were approved by Lambeth Council last month, and following a consultation process with the local community, contractors are due to start the building work in August with completion in time for the launch of the theatre’s Autumn 2019 season.
The venue, which holds a 110-seat theatre, a second 80 seat studio upstairs and two rehearsal rooms, has no guaranteed arts council funding and was opened five years ago.
Artistic Director Marie McCarthy comments: “The fundraising campaign is an important step to improving the accessibility of our theatre. The new and improved spaces will enrich the experience for both audiences and theatre-makers who use our facilities on a daily basis. My aim is for Omnibus Theatre to be an approachable and inclusive destination with an artistic programme and initiatives that reflect the diversity of the community.”
Fiona Mactaggart, chair of trustees adds: “It’s an exciting new phase for our venue. The new café/bar will create a welcoming local social space and make the building feel closer to people living in Clapham and those who might be nervous about crossing the threshold into a theatre.”