Canada Water Theatre rebrands as a new incubator space for Southwark creatives

12 April 2023

Creatives across Southwark can look forward to a new artist development hub as Theatre Peckham is announced as the new operator of the Canada Water Theatre from 1 April 2023.

Following a competitive process, Southwark Council has appointed Theatre Peckham to transform the way the performance space is used during 2023-24, refreshing its purpose as a designated platform for emerging artists to develop their creative ideas, practice and strengthen community connections.

Southwark-based Theatre Peckham follows in the footsteps of The Albany who successfully managed and programmed the theatre space for 11 years, delivering a broad range of plays, music gigs, poetry nights, and family-friendly events.

Theatre Peckham’s new outpost provides the opportunity for creatives of all kinds to upskill themselves and attract paid opportunities – a key tenet for a thriving cultural sector. Independent creatives will benefit from artist mentorship programmes, support with funding applications, production and marketing.

Over the next year, Theatre Peckham will bring forward a creative vision that comprises:

  • Incubate – free research and development opportunities for Southwark-based creatives
  • Gifted Weeks – free rehearsal space for artists performing in Peckham Fringe and Young, Gifted & Black
  • London Calling – affordable rehearsal space hire for non-Southwark based companies
  • Community Hub – local community group hires.

Theatre Peckham is an active member of the Southwark Stands Together pledge, a borough wide commitment to tackling racial inequality. The theatre champions the voices of those from ethnically diverse backgrounds as creatives and audience members and recognises the critical role that creativity and culture have in shaping society and building stronger, fairer, richer communities and places. 

Alongside its dedicated support for creatives, the theatre will also host community events, with the programme to be announced in the coming months.

Cllr Catherine Rose, Cabinet Member for Leisure, Parks, Streets and Clean Air, said: “While we’re sad to see The Albany go, we’re excited to welcome Theatre Peckham to the Canada Water Theatre.

“The new direction of the space reflects our ambition not just to platform local artists and theatre-makers, but to cultivate their talents and provide them with the resources to hone their practice and make a living. Rehearsal space is at a premium across the capital so we’re glad to be offering opportunities to use the space for free or at affordable rates, all underpinned by the expertise of an organisation dedicated to unlocking the potential of grassroots talent.”

Artistic Director and CEO of Theatre Peckham Suzann McLean, said: "This is an incredible opportunity for Theatre Peckham to continue its mission of building an equitable sector by providing a platform for diverse talent in the arts. The venue will provide a much-needed space for Southwark artists to come together and collaborate on projects, be a resource for sector wide theatre companies seeking a performance space and continue as a community hub for local groups. This opportunity will allow us to further our commitment to artistic excellence, social change, and community connections."

Page last updated: 12 April 2023

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