History of  the theatre

   The  Early  Years
he Warehouse Theatre was founded by Sam Kelly, Richard Ireson, and Adrian Shergold at the height of the lunchtime theatre boom with the aim of presenting a varied season of plays with an emphasis on new work to the highest possible standards. The first production - Hell's Angels on Typewriters by Angela Wye - opened in May 1977, and the then 50 seat auditorium became an instant favourite with local audiences for lunchtime performances whilst sharing the building with a Caribbean night club.
In 1978 the Arts Council recognised the work of the theatre by awarding a major grant and in 1979 the nightclub closed, evening performances were introduced and the seating capacity was increased to 100. Highly respected touring companies began to visit the theatre between in-house productions and extremely popular cabaret evenings were introduced, with performers including Lenny Henry, French and Saunders, Rik Mayall, Ben Elton, and Julian Clary. Gradually more plays were premiered, with many being specially commissioned by successful writers, such as Sue Townsend, who wrote Groping for Words and Womberang for the theatre.
After the withdrawal of an Arts Council grant in 1984, potential closure was averted when Croydon Council and the GLC agreed to replace the grant. Following a brief closure for major refurbishment, including the building of the bar, the theatre re-opened in 1985 under the directorship of Ted Craig with the premiere of David Allen's Cheapside starring James Bolam.  Now concentrating exclusively on new playwriting, initiatives such as the South London Playwriting Festival were launched, giving an invaluable platform to works by both new and established writers. Kevin Hood's compelling new play Beached won the first festival in 1986 and he later became Resident Playwright, writing both The Astronomer's Garden and Sugar Hill Blues for the theatre.

Cheapside                                                            Sugar Hill Blues                               The Astronomer's Garden

   Building  On  Success
The South London Playwriting Festival quickly became the highly acclaimed International Playwriting Festival, reflecting the number of entries from all over the globe. Finalists have included playwrights from America, Trinidad, Australia and Bulgaria, with the 1994 winner, Dino Mahoney, being half Irish, half Greek, living in Hong Kong. Dino's selected play Yo Yo had its premiere here in April 1995. In 1996 the Warehouse Theatre inaugurated a partnership with the leading Italian playwriting festival, the Premio Candoni Arta Terme and in 1999 a partnership was also formed with Theatro Ena in Cyprus providing selected writers with a window for further productions in Europe. The new writers discovered by the festival have since gone from strength to strength and further productions, radio and screen contracts, and success with other work has followed.

   The  Building
The Warehouse Theatre is a converted Victorian warehouse, built in 1882 for a sand, cement, and lime merchant. In spite of refurbishments, it still has several original features. There are picture tiles from the 1880's, mostly on the cellar under the main staircase, and a "crab" winch and wall crane of unusual design in full working order on the side of the building. Early drawings show that the bar, opened in 1985, is actually sited in the old stable block, with the eating area above in the appropriately named "Hayloft" bar.
But the Victorian charm of the building does have its less engaging side. The removal of a false ceiling in 1981 uncovered the planked roof and vast beams and tresses of the original holes in the original roof to let in the original rain over audience and cast alike.
Space is another problem. The office looks like a cupboard crossed with a corridor and is actually another entrance to the auditorium. In fact, until 1985 it was the entrance and many bemused latecomers are still escorted up the backstairs and past the kitchen to avoid walking through the scenery. With so little room to manoeuvre, one (unnamed) actress was once forced to crawl along a wooden beam in the roof in order to reach her entrance after she had left by the wrong door the scene before!
But the problems have helped to encourage the ingenuity and imagination in staging and design for which the Warehouse Theatre is rightly acclaimed - and cheerfulness in adversity has seen staff and audiences alike through many a minor crisis.

   The   Future
We will eventually be forced to vacate our much-loved building to make room for development on the site, so as the company looks forward to a future in a new building with increased facilities, the spirit of innovation and determination forged upstairs in a Victorian industrial warehouse will keep the Warehouse Theatre Company at the cutting edge
of new playwriting.


SKIN DEEP (improvised)
TRANSCENDING by Peter Gregory


ONE OF THOSE DAYS devised by Adrian Shergold
MARKING TIME by Andy Armitage
JETTY by Guy Hibbert
OLD SCHOOL by Giles Cole
- Premiere
HOUDINI by Andy Armitage and Adrian Shergold - Premiere

- Premiere
DE SADE ON ICE by Andy Smith - Premiere
BALLS by Sandra Clark - Premiere
BENTLEY by Richard Ireson- Premiere
GUESTS by Robin Chapman- Premiere
SINGLEHANDED by Jonathan Rich- Premiere
BABYKILLER by Steve Wilmer- Premiere

CIRCLES OF MY MIND by Rex Doyle- Premiere
DAYROOM by Sue Townsend - Premiere
by Anthony Craze - Premiere

I, BERTOLT BRECHT devised by Sue Pomeroy
OWNERS by Carol Churchill- Premiere
THROUGH THE WALL by Ian Barnett and Sue Pomeroy- Premiere
TERMINAL SUMMER by Andy Smith - Premiere

CINDERELLA HARD-UP by Peta Masters and Geraldine Griffiths - Premiere
GROPING FOR WORDS by Sue Townsend - Premiere
CROYDON FLY PAST devised by The Company, script by Vince Foxall - Premiere
WOMBERANG and CLIENTS by Sue Townsend - Premiere
MOLL FLANDERS by Daniel Defoe, adapted by Claire Luckham - Commission & Premiere

SOME KIND OF HERO by Les Smith - Commission & Premiere
THERESE RAQUIN by Emile Zola, transalted by Pip Broughton - Premiere
THE FOX AND THE HOUNDS by Jim Morris "A marvellously evocative and increaingly menacing production by Pip Broughton" The Times 5.7.84
FIRE-EATERS by Paul Copley - a Warehouse Theatre Company Co-Production & played Tricycle Theatre, Kilburn - Premiere
TOUCH AND GO by Debbie Horsfield - Commission & Premiere
THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO by Mozart, adapted by Nick Broadhurst & Tony Britten (transfer to the Ambassadors Theatre) - Premiere

CHEAPSIDE by David Allen in association with Lucille Lortel (transfer to the Half Moon Theatre) "A Surrey breeze rustles the fringe as the Warehouse makes its presence felt" Mail On Sunday 1.9.85 -British Premiere
DRESSING UP by Brenda Ray - Premiere
COCK & BULL STORY by Richard Crowe & Richard Zajdlic, Ratskins Theatre Co   - Premiere
DEVIL'S PEAK by Allan Leas - Premiere
WEALTH by Aristophanes, translated by George Savvides, lyrics by David Dearlove, music by Peter Pontzen - Commission & Premiere

WORKING THE HALLS by Peter Honri - Premiere
THE ART OF SELF-DEFENCE by Trish Johnson Target Productions in association with Warehouse Theatre
WUTHERING HEIGHTS by Emily Bronte, adapted by Vince Foxall - Commission & Premiere
I'VE BEEN RUNNING by Clare McIntyre and CINDY AND SHELLEY GO TO THE DESERT by Paula Cizmar - Theatre La Beet in association with Warehouse Theatre Co (also played at Old Red Lion)
SCREAMERS by Anthony Davidson "Consistently absorbing and entertaining" "Intense, funny, nostalgic,sad" Financial Times 3.7.86- Premiere
ONE WAS NUDE AND WORE TAILS by Dario Fo - Fo Rame Theatre Project in association with Warehouse Theatre
GLORIOUS THINGS by David Allen "A rare and rewarding combination of fun, accessibility and politics" City Limits 30.10.86
Commission & Premiere
BLACK EY'D SUSAN by Douglas Jerrold, adapted by the Warehouse Theatre Co (transfer to Oxford Playhouse)
"A very engaging show - light but not throwaway, funny but never absurd" What's On

CANNIBAL by Richard Zajdlic & Richard Crow - Ratskins Theatre Co in association with Warehouse Theatre Co - Premiere
BEACHED by Kevin Hood  - 1986 IPF selection "In Kevin Hood, the author of Beached, the Warehouse has discovered a new playwright who can craft a script, write and give his play dramatic interest, shape and colour" London Daily News    (also played Old Red Lion Theatre) - Premiere
STAR TURNS by Steve Gooch - Commission & Premiere
IN THE IMAGE OF THE BEAST by Jonathan Holloway (Winner of Fringe First - Edinburgh Festival 1987) Red Shift Theatre Co in association with Warehouse Theatre Co
UPSIDE DOWN AT THE BOTTOM OF THE WORLD by David Allen - British premiere
THE SERVANT OF TWO MASTERS by Carlo Goldini, translated and adapted by Ted Craig, Lyrics by David Dearlove, music by Peter Pontzen Commission & Premiere

CHILDREN OF THE DUST by Anne Aylor -1987IPF selection - Co-Production & also played Soho Theatre Company - Premiere
SINNERS AND SAINTS by James Mundy (sponsored by Midland Bank) Commission & Premiere
POMMIES by David Allen Warehouse Theatre Co in association with Phillip Emmanuel Productions (sponsored by Network South East)
British premiere
LE MISANTHROPE by Moliere, adapted by Neil Bartlett, music by Adrian Johnston (Winner of Fringe First - Edinburgh Festival 1988) - Red Shift Theatre Co in association with Warehouse Theatre Co (sponsored by Becks Bier) - Premiere
THE ASTRONOMER'S GARDEN by Kevin Hood (Winner of Best Playwright - Charrington Fringe Awards 1988) - (transfer to Royal Court)
"A five star experience" City Limits 27.10.88 "Ted Craig's intelligent production has the exquisite precision of an astrolabe" Eve Standard - Premiere
ROISTER DOISTER by Nicholas Udall, adapted by Vince Foxall
(sponsored by United Cable TV - winner of the Business Sponsorship Incentive Scheme Award) Commission & Premiere

TIMON OF ATHENS by William Shakespeare, music by Adrian Johnston (Winner of the Best Composer - Charrington Fringe Awards 1989) - Red Shift Theatre Co in association with Warehouse Theatre
DINNER by Mark Bunyan - 1988 IPF selection - Premiere
FACTORY FOLLIES by Trish Fairbanks, music by Sayan Akaddas, Colin Sell & Juliet Hall - 20th Vixen in assoc Warehouse Theatre - Premiere
TAKE BACK WHAT'S YOURS by Jacqueline Rudet - Premiere
THE HARLOT'S CURSE By Rodney Archer & Powell Jones (Winner of the LWT Plays on Stage Competition 1988) - Operating Theatre Co in association with Warehouse Theatre Co - Premiere
THE SWEET SHOP OWNER by Graham Swift jointly commissioned by derrick derrick Productions in association with Warehouse Theatre - Premiere
SLEEPING NIGHTIE by Victoria Hardie - Co-Production with and also played at Royal Court Theatre - Premiere
GARY by Ray Winston Basic Theatre Co in association with Harvey Kass - Premier
HOLD ON HORTENSE adapted by Vince Foxall from the plays of The Grand Guignol - Commission & Premiere

SWEET AS A NUT by David Fox - Best Playwright, Charrington Fringe Awards 1989/90 Art Depot Theatre Co in assoc with Warehouse Theatre Premiere
SUGAR HILL BLUES by Kevin Hood - transfer to Hampstead Theatre - Commission & premiere
(Winner of the 1989 South London Playwriting Festival) - Premiere
CONVICTIONS by Jeffrey Beatley - The Sharland Org in association with Warehouse Theatre Co - British premiere
RIPPING THEM OFF by Trevor Baxter - Warehouse Theatre Co in association with Bill Kenwright - Premiere
IN THE DOGHOUSE by David Allen - Commission & Premiere

THREE MEN IN A BOAT by Jerome K Jerome, adapted by Rob Ballard (Winner of Best Comedy Charrington Fringe Awards 1991/2 - Performance Theatre Co
THE FISHING TRIP by Frank Grimes - Warehouse Theatre Co in association with Alexander H Racolin & Annette Moscowitz
Directed by Lindsay Anderson "Provocative and quizzical, subtle and bracing" The Guardian - Premiere
LIPSTICK TANGO by Katie Campbell - Bustere Theatre Co in assoc with Warehouse Theatre Co
PLAYING SINATRA by Bernard Kops - Commission and Premiere - transfer to Greenwich Theatre " A corker of a play and a triumph for Kops, his best play in more than a decade...rich, dark complexity...remarkable" Whats On "This beautifully written tragi-comedy" Independent on Sunday
THE MYSTERIE OF MARIA MARTEN by Chris Bond - commission and premiere

by William Shakespeare, in a new setting by Claire Luckham The Sphinx (formerly Women's Theatre Group) in association with Warehouse Theatre Co
FIGHTING FOR THE DUNGHILL by Guy Jenkin -1991 IPF selection
"Splendidly watchable" The Times  "James Bolam's excellent performance...is a poignant though still comic, picture of a man at war with the world.....ably abetted by a splendid cast""Charming, informative play" Time Out   - Premiere
TURNER'S CROSSING by Sheila Dewey (Thames TV Theatre Writers Award) Commission & Premiere
ON TOP OF THE WORLD by Michael Gow   Warehouse Theatre Co in association with The Sydney Theatre Co - British Premiere
THE BEST MAN by David Richard Fox Warehouse Theatre Co in association with Art Depot - Premiere
DON QUIXOTE adapted by Vince Foxall - Commission & Premiere

PIRATES by Rob Ballard Warehouse Theatre Production in association with Performance Theatre Co - Commission & Premiere
FAT SOULS by James Martin Charlton -1992 IPF selection   "There is simply no mistaking anew voice in the theatre. Charlton's is a quirky, assured, creative voice.....consistently theatrical" The Times  "Ted Craig's crisp production...sparkles with originality and life" What's On  - Premiere
THE SUM OF US by David Stevens "Beautifully acted...warm, affectionate and funny"The Times - British premiere
BREAKING THE BANK by Eleanor Zeal Warehouse Theatre Co in association with Empty Space Theatre Co
THROUGH A GLASS DARKLY by Trevor Baxter - Commission & Premiere
THE BELLS OF NOTRE DAME By Victor Hugo, adapted by Vince Foxall - Commission & Premiere

WILD THINGS by Anna Reynolds Warehouse Theatre Co in association with Paines Plough & Salisbury Playhouse - Premiere
EVA AND THE CABIN BOY by Sheila Dewey - commission & premiere
A NIGHT AT THE REVOLUTION by Rob Ballard Warehouse Theatre Co in association with Performance Theatre Co - Premiere
DANCING ON BLACKWATER by Bonnie Greer Warehouse Theatre Co in association with Black Theatre Co-operative - Premiere
THE COURT JESTER by Ray Smiles (Arts Council Writer in Residence) Commission & Premiere

SWEET PHOEBE by Michael Gow   starring Cate Blanchett  Warehouse Theatre Co in Association with The Sydney Theatre Co - British premiere
"Outstanding" The Guardian   "Compelling and highly charged. Brilliant" Time Out
YOYO by Dino Mahoney -1994 IPF selection   Time Out Critics Choice "A worthy winner" - Premiere
NERVOUS BREAKDOWN by Douglas Esson - 1993 IPF selection - Premiere
TROUBLE SLEEPING by Nick Ward   Warehouse Theatre Co in association with Fino Productions - Premiere
DINNER WITH THE BORGIAS by Ray Smiles   - Commission & Premiere

BEN HUR by Rob Ballard Warehouse Theatre Co in association with Performance Theatre Co - Commission & Premiere
IONA RAIN by Peter Moffat 1995 - IPF selection  Commission & Premiere "Outshines the West End's big cheeses" The Times - Premiere
TEMPORARY RUPTURE by Michael Ellis - Black Theatre Co-operative in association with Warehouse Theatre Co
GROPING IN THE DARK by James Martin Charlton - Friendly Fire Productions in association with Warehouse Theatre Co - Commission & Premiere
THE SERVANT OF TWO MASTERS By Carlo Goldoni, adapted & translated by Ted Craig

FAT JANET IS DEAD by Simon Smith (1996 IPF selection) "Delightful comedy" The Times
"Left me crying with laughter" The Independent - Premiere
THE BLUE GARDEN by Peter Moffat   - Commission & Premiere
COMING UP by James Martin Charlton - Warehouse Theatre Company production in association with Friendly Fire Productions   
Commission & Premiere
THE CASTLE SPECTRE by Matthew Lewis adapted by Phil Willmott - Commission and Premiere

MISS ROACH'S WAR by Patrick Hamilton adapted by Richard Kane - Attic Theatre Company in association with WTC - Premiere
THE SWELL - Theatre Alibi - Premiere
CAPITAL NIGHTS by Jim Kenworth & Brian McCloskey - Warehouse Commission and Premiere
KAOS' MASTER & MARGARITA - Kaos Theatre Company - Premiere
TRICKSTER'S PAYBACK by Martin Glynn - Warehouse Theatre Company and Black Theatre Co-operative Co-production - Commission & Premiere
THE RESSURECTIONISTS by Dominic McHale - A Warehouse Theatre Company and Octagon Theatre, Bolton Co-production IPF selection 1997 "Dominic McHale's entertaining debut...hilarious" Evening Standard - Commission & Premiere
DICK BARTON - Special Agent (episode I) by Phil Willmott , Musical Direction by Stefan Bednarczyk - Commission & Premiere      "parody songs, dance routines and pythonesque FUN that has the audience ROLLING IN THE AILES" Evening Standard

THE OTHER SHORE by Sarah Wood Attic Theatre Company - Premiere
TALES OF A CITY by Goran Stefanovski Theatre Melange - Premiere
HAPPY & GLORIOUS by Richard Vincent - Commission & Premiere
DICK BARTON Special Agent( episode I) (Revival) by Phil Willmott ,Musical direction Stefan Bednarczyk followed by national tour 2000
DICK BARTON Episode ll THE CURSE OF THE PHARAOH'S TOMB by Phil Willmott, Music al Direction Stefan Bednarczyk - Warehouse commission & premiere. Also at Greenwich Theatre 2000 "Guaranteed to send you home with a smile on your face" What's On

WEILL & LENYA by Judith Paris with additional dialogue by Ken Russell -Pluto Productons with Judith Paris in associ with Warehouse Theatre Co
PAUL ROBESON KNEW MY FATHER by Greg Cullen - Hijinx Theatre Company - Premiere
THE DOVE by Roumen Shomov -IPF selection 1998 "this fascinating play...an accurate reflection of lunacy of daily life" Guardian
Commission & Premiere
THE DREAMER by Ade Morris - Watermill Theatre West Berkshire Playhouse - Premiere
HARRY AND ME by Nigel Williams - Two's Company production in association with Warehouse Theatre Company - Premiere
GOD'S OFFICIAL by Robert Farquar - a Sally Vaughan and Richard Jordon production in association with Warehouse Theatre Company - Premiere
CARBARET GALACTICA by Rob Ballard - Performance Theatre Co - Commission & Premiere

IN CAHOOTS by Camden People's Theatre - Premiere
A DOLLS HOUSE by Henrik Ibsen - Custard Factory Theatre Company
THE SHAGAROUND by Maggie Nevill IPF selection in 1999. Showcased in Italian at the Premio Candoni-Arta Terme.   Warehouse Theatre Company and the Nuffield Theatre, Southampton co-production. Opened Nuffield Theatre, toured to Ashcroft Theatre, Soho Theatre and Brighton Theatre Royal. "Strutting wit and attitude with emotional vulnerability." Evening Standard - Commission & Premiere
LONE FLYER by Ade Morris - Watermill Theatre West Berkshire Playhouse - Premiere
AY CARMELA! by Jose Sanchis Sinistrea, translated by Nilo Cruz and Catalina Botello - Out Of the Box Productions - Premiere
VOYAGERS Devised by Kenneth Rea - Jet Theatre Company - Commission & Premiere
DICK BARTON Episode III The Tango Of Terror by Phil Willmott. Musical direction by Stefan Bednarczyk -   Commission & Premiere
toured to Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guilford & Swan Theatre,Stratford-upon-Avon " Dick continues to penetrate the nations hearts" Eve Standard

THE MEN'S ROOM by Joshua James - Icon Productions in association with Warehouse Theatre - British premiere
SKIN DEEP by Richard Vincent - Commission & Premiere
BIG BOYS by Charles Fourie. A Stages International production in association with Warehouse Theatre Company - British premiere
I AM OSCAR WILDE by Stuart Denman - Skillduggery - Premiere
THE MEETING by Feff Stetson - Nubian Nights and Warehouse Theatre Company
THREE SERVANTS by Ryan Craig - Jet Theatre - Commission & Premiere
DICK BARTON Episode IV The Flight of the Phoenix by Duncan Wisbey and Stefan Bednarcxyk with Ted Craig
Commission & Premiere   "an enegetic and talented cast tells this tale of derring-do with great aplomb. As well as delivering viruoso comic performances, they also sing with vigour, and even double up as the band for the musical numbers, which borrow familiar classical tunes and set them to witty new lyrics ...dashed good fun! The Times

DICK BARTON Episode IV The Flight of the Phoenix extended to 23 February
24 Feb - 16 April  Theatre closed for necessary works and refurbishment
by Mark Norfolk Commission & World Premiere
MRS RUSKIN by Kim Morrissey in assoc with Theatre Metropolis - World premiere
MISS JULIE by August Strinberg set in British Raj in assoc with Naach & Tara Arts
THE TUNNEL OF OBSESSION adapted by David Graham-Young from the novel by Ernesto Sabato - World Premiere
DICK BARTON Episode V The Excess of Evil
by Duncan Wisbey and Stefan Bednarcyk with Ted Craig
Commission & World Premiere
"With endless gags delivered by a cast of six actors who also play a couple of dozen characters between them
plus an amazing range of musical instruments, the evening jollies along at an hilarious pace that would get even James Bond shaken and
stirred" What's On in London  
"The show's creators...have come up with several Christmas crackers (and) an ingenious plot with more
twists and turns than an exhibitionist boa-constrictor"
Evening Standard  "The gags come thick and fast" Sunday Telegraph

DICK BARTON Episode V The Excess of Evil sell out season extended to 29 February
RED SUN by David Rudkin London Premiere "in a theatre dominated by domesticity, Rudkin's work stands out as the product of an unnerving myth-haunted imagination" Michael Billington The Guardian
QUEER COUNSEL by Nick Bamford in assoc with FOD Productions World Premiere
MR AND MRS SCHULTZ by Alex Jones in assoc with Watermill West Berkshire Playhouse World Premiere
DIRTY FAN MALE Jonny Trunk/Duncan Wisbey
ROMEO AND JULIET by William Shakespeare Daylight Players
OPEN HOUSE by Helena Thompson World Premiere
FEMME FATALE written by Phil Willmott directed by Ted Craig music by Stefan Bednarczyk WTC Production World Premiere

FEMME FATALE extended until 20 February
THE DEVIL YOU KNOW by Frank Barrie London Shakepreare Group & Warehouse Theatre London premiere

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