Young Finsbury Park theatre wins award

Andy Rudge, from sponsors Roberston Taylor W P Longreach, John-Jackson Almond and Jez Bond

Andy Rudge, from sponsors Roberston Taylor W P Longreach, John-Jackson Almond and Jez Bond - Credit: Archant

Finsbury Park’s popular new theatre has been given a prestigious accolade just a few months after celebrating its first birthday.

Park Theatre, which opened in May 2013, was named Fringe Theatre of the Year at The Stage Awards 2015.

Artistic Director Jez Bond, said: “It’s lovely to have that recognition within the industry and the community at large and obviously we are very honoured to have been recognised by our peers. We are very pleased to be able to bring that home to Finsbury Park.”

The theatre, which put on 25 shows in its first year and worked with 901 ‘creatives’ is run with the help of more than 50 volunteers.

Jez said: “We have been able to realise some shows that we hope are of a West End quality, top-notch productions that the locals can see on their doorstep. We have created a building that has the facilities to support that work.

“We are not just a theatre with an interval bar but a thriving community hub.”

The £2.5 million theatre, which has a 200-seater downstairs and a 90-seater upstairs auditorium has been praised for its accessibility hosting, ‘pay what you can’ nights and working with community organisations.

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It also has the support of top industry professionals, kicking off its first birthday with a party attended by Stars of the stage and the silver screen.

Sir Ian Mckellan, Will Young, Maureen Lipman and Benedict Cumberbatch are among those who have shown support for the venue, in Clifton Terrace, and commended its education centre.

Jez said: “It’s important for what we are trying to do which is to be a theatre for London today. If you don’t connect to the community you are going to be a private members club. Theatre is so immediate and live and transient - and has the power to transform lives we are all aware, as theatre practitioners, of that power and our responsibility.”