Soho Poly Theatre Festival, June 19th-21st

Soho Poly Theatre Festival
40th anniversary celebrations

19-21 June, 2012

2012 marks 40 years since The Soho Poly Theatre (now Soho Theatre) moved into a tiny basement on Riding House Street and established itself as one of the most famous fringe venues of the 1970s and 80s. It was the home of innovative new writing, and a launch pad for many actors and directors still at work today. Under the early directorship of Fred Proud and Verity Bargate, the theatre inspired incredible devotion amongst those it worked with. It was also a pioneer of ‘lunchtime’ theatre, an innovation which liberated writers to experiment with new forms of dramatic writing. From 19-21 June, the theatre will be coming back to life for a series of short plays, readings and panel discussions about theatre then and now.

Tuesday 19 June, 7pm: Fred Proud, the Soho Poly Theatre’s first artistic director, will introduce the festival, followed by a reading of Robert Holman’s short play ‘Coal’.

Wednesday 20 June: The festival hosts The Miniaturists, who will present three twenty minute plays at 1pm and again at 7pm. There will also be a panel discussion on innovative theatrical forms with representatives from the current Soho Theatre, time TBC.

Thursday 21 June, 1-2pm: ‘Theatre Then and Now’ – a lunchtime conversation with Michael Billington, Michael Coveney and Irving Wardle.

Thursday 21 June, 7pm: An evening reading of David Edgar’s play ‘Baby Love’, followed by a drinks reception in a nearby venue, TBC.

Unless otherwise mentioned, all events will take place in situ in the original basement at 16 Riding House Street:

Please email festival organiser Matthew Morrison at for any further information about the individuals and companies involved, interviews and photos. Tickets are free, but because of the size of the venue, availability is limited. Please email for all reservations, mentioning which events you are interested in attending. You can also follow the festival on our blog and Twitter @SohoPolyFest.

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1 comment

  1. Nobby Clark took that photo. Left to right: Tony Steedman, Chris Sullivan, Laurence James.
    It is from 1976 in a play called A TREAT by Glenn Chandler, directed by Brian Croucher.

    Comment by CHRIS SULLIVAN, 12 June 2012 #

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