Curtain up in Hackney

Philippa Hammond
Monday 25 Jul 2011

An empty warehouse renovated into a theatre named 'The Yard' by Practice Architecture

The Yard, a new theatre, opens in Hackney Wick on 22nd July 2011. A dormant warehouse has been converted by Practice Architecture into a theatre and cafe/bar. The Yard will play host to theatre, opera and dance.

The Yard is the brainchild of a group of theatre directors, led by Jay Miller, frustrated at the lack of opportunities afforded to emerging artists in London. The venue offers a safe environment for companies to take artistic risks with free rehearsal space, free performance space. and 51% of the box office in return for a few hours help with the operational management of the building.

The Yard will be open for only one season from 22nd July to 29th October. The venue is located opposite the Olympic Park, sitting on the canal and less than 5 minutes from Hackney Wick Station and local bus routes.

Established theatre makers will be in repertory with some of the best emerging talent from around the country. The programme will include theatre, dance and opera, with a specific focus on fusing different performance disciplines, recreating known stories and challenging traditional forms of theatre.

A principle aim of The Yard is to increase transparency and access in theatre, making the building a magnet for audience and artists alike. A number of productions are planned that will not only introduce artists to an audience, but will also enable artists to work with audience, together creating unique productions. The rehearsal process of every production will be opened up by introducing 'workshop performances', enabling audiences to critically invest in the programme, and, in a further effort to make theatre accessible to all, ticket prices will start from £4, and not exceed £10. The aim is to create a modern ensemble of artists and audience, all drawn to The Yard, and all invested in its development.

Practice, an innovative young company renowned for their famous rooftop bar, Frank’s Café, have, in consultation with Christopher Daniel, designed and constructed a 120 seat theatre and a café-bar within an existing warehouse building in Hackney Wick using reclaimed materials from the Olympic Park. The café-bar will host a series of events and concerts that will complement the work programmed in the theatre.


Key Facts:

United Kingdom
Civic Buildings

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