The Space is part of a national initiative launched by the Theatres Trust to prevent the permanent closure of hundreds of UK theatres.
The Space is a welcoming, inclusive and ambitious theatre, based in a converted church on the Isle of Dogs, East London. We support new theatre-makers and increasing access to theatre for a wide variety of writers, actors, directors and our audiences, as well as through community and school programmes.
During lockdown we've supported hundreds of artists and engaged with thousands of people across East London and globally through our “Locked Down, Looking Up” programme.
But as we continue to look forward, we need your help.
We're working hard to re-open our theatre, but the pandemic has put our future at risk. Please donate or pledge on a reward to help us reach our target—supporting our ability to continue creating great theatre and to welcome you back to the Space.
Why are we crowdfunding?
We have survived lockdown thanks to innovative programming and the generosity of our supporters. However, decreased income from traditional ticket sales, venue hires and rent from our cafe/bar has significantly impacted our financial position. As a result, the Space now faces risks that could result in permanent closure.
Looking forward, our mission is to continue to provide opportunities for live theatre at the venue and online. Your donations will be used to help us pay for unavoidable costs whilst we prepare the theatre to safely welcome you back. And many of our reward packages are also aimed at supporting creatives, so you'll be saving the venue whilst helping to develop the artists that produce and perform the shows we create. We're due to celebrate 25 years as a theatre in September 2021 and are keen to make our 25th year even more impactful and memorable than those brilliant 24 years that we've enjoyed so far.
About the Space
The Space was opened, in 1996, by Robert Richardson and the St Paul's Arts Trust, a group of local residents. We work with new, emerging and established theatre-makers to stage exciting, unique productions. We deliver workshops, courses and artist development opportunities. Space Productions has produced over 30 plays and received 6 Off-West End award nominations. Last year, we broke our box office records, hosting 9,407 audience members across 244 performances. Our patrons are Sir Ian McKellen and Marie McLaughlin.
During lockdown, the Space committed to supporting London’s theatre-makers while continuing to create great theatre. Our Locked Down, Looking Up online programme has been running since May, allowing us to continue doing what we love and supporting our practitioners, participants and audiences. Users described it as a 'lifeline' and 'a digital sanctuary' during lockdown. Over the course of 16 weeks, we produced and staged 10 play readings, 30 theatre workshops, 16 theatre club sessions and 2.0 Fest, a special festival of 8 duologues 3 of which have won OnComm awards.
You can still access videos of our play readings, 2.0 Fest and our workshop course materials here. This innovative programme helped us support over 200 theatre-makers during the lockdown, through support from our loyal audience and Arts Council England.
Now, as well as providing for our local community, we have an online community to engage, entertain and inspire.
About the Theatres Trust #SaveOurTheatres Programme
In villages, towns and cities across the country, theatres are at the heart of our communities. Places to come together, to be inspired and to be entertained. Theatres are where our best-loved actors learn their craft and thousands of others learn valuable skills.
But we risk losing this forever.
Theatres saw their main source of income disappear in an instant when they closed in March in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Six months later, we still don’t know when theatres will be able to reopen fully. A decision won’t be made until November at the earliest.
This ongoing uncertainty puts theatres such as ours in a perilous situation. While the government has set aside funding to support cultural entities, this funding will be spread across a wide variety of cultural organisations and certainly won’t be enough to save all of the UK’s theatres.
Every day theatres are facing the tough decision to make staff redundant and to close their doors until next year. And there is a real risk that those changes and closures will become permanent.
Without urgent support, our nation’s amazing theatres could be lost. Please help us to make sure our theatres survive this crisis and will be there to be enjoyed by future generations.
Please donate, share this page widely and do what you can to help us to make sure our theatre survives this crisis.