Off West End Theatre Awards nominate ELL borough venues


Three independent theatres from Eastlondonlines boroughs have been nominated for the Off West End Theatre Awards, being recognized for their excellence, ingenuity, and innovation.

The awards aim to “raise the profile and status of independent theatres in London” and are commonly referred to as the ‘Offies’.

Lewisham’s Brockley Jack Studio Theatre, Tower Hamlets ‘The Space’ and Hackney’s Arcola Theatre, have all been shortlisted. The jury chose their nominations from over 300 plays in over 80 theatres, with the public able to vote for who they think should win via the awards’ website until February 14.

The Brockley Jack has been nominated for two awards, Best Costume Design in the play Julius Caesar and Best Sound Design for Kafka v Kafka.

Karl Swinyard, manager of the Brockley Jack, said: “We are delighted to be nominated. We didn’t prepare for it but we support new writing and the venue has done great work. We opened 20 years ago and we’ve improved very much since. We also provide a fantastic platform for actors”.

This is not the first time the Brockley Jack has been nominated for an award. They were previously voted the Best Foodie Experience, but have yet to win an Offie.

But Swinyard thinks they might have a chance this year: “We are supported by the public. We think we have the possibility to win this award”.

The Space has been acknowledged in the Best Director and Best Ensemble categories for their production of Nicholas Nickleby and Best Costume for Fulfil Me Fully Phil. The Space was unsuccessful in their three previous nominations.

Adam Hemming, director of The Space, said: “It’s nice to have recognition for the work. Off West End Theatre Awards play a vital role in highlighting the quality work in many London fringe venues. I feel proud of all of the nominations we have and I’m very grateful for them”.

The Arcola Theatre features two studios and is much larger than the other nominated East London venues.  They are previous contenders and are being recognised in multiple categories.

The three theatres have taken to Twitter to help generate support for the public vote, which closes on February 14. The winners will be announced next month.

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