Theatre Delicatessen are working with Southwark Council to transform Old Library in Burgess Park into a vibrant new arts and cultural space for the local community.
The Old Library will throw open its doors to the public for the first time on Saturday 20th August at 12.00pm, as part of the Camberwell Fair.
Theatre Delicatessen are inviting local people to say what they would like to see in the Old Library and help shape the future programme.
It will also will be a chance for the public to come and see the building and find out more about Theatre Delicatessen before its official opening in Autumn 2016.
Theatre Delicatessen are known for their work creating cultural pop-ups around the UK and developing artists who work in immersive arts. Throughout the day the Old Library will play host to a number of their artists.
These will include circus company Hikapee, virtual reality artist Ben Carlin and Casson and Friends with their performance ‘The Dance WE Made’, where members of the public help choreograph a dance performance that will be staged the same day.
Over the next few months, the Old Library will be transformed into a performance space for use by both the local and London’s wider artistic community, alongside rehearsal and development studios hosting residencies for emerging companies to develop new performances. Part of the project also involves the creation of a new public cafe space for park users.
Artists who will creating new performances at the Old Library include DifferencEngine – with whom Theatre Delicatessen collaborated on the phenomenally successful ‘Heist’ – Casson and Friends and Sleight of Hand.
One of the first artists to take residency of the Old Library will be Collectif And Then, winners of the 2016 The Oxford Samuel Beckett Theatre Trust Award, who will be developing ‘The Machine’, which will be staged 27 September 2016 – 8 October as part of the Barbican 2016 season
Working with Involuntary Movement, Theatre Delicatessen will also be developing a number of programmes for people from across the community. The aim is that these will include drama and improvisation classes, circus skills training and working with local organisations to host existing events.
Roland Smith, Co-Artistic Director of Theatre Delicatessen, said:
“Theatre Delicatessen are incredibly excited to be taking residency of the Old Library. Working in this beautiful, historic building will enable us to continue our work with emerging artists and theatremakers as well as developing new productions and performances to be staged both in the building and Burgess Park as a whole. At the same time, we are looking forward to meeting the local community and hearing their ideas for how our programme should evolve.”
Cllr Johnson Situ, cabinet member for business, employment and culture said,
“Investing in arts and culture is tougher than ever for local councils, but we are really pleased to be able to welcome Theatre Delicatessen to Old Wells Way Library over the next two years. Their plans to turn it into a creative hub that the whole community can enjoy are really exciting and I’m looking forward to seeing local people get involved.”
The Passmore Edwards Library Building is owned by Southwark Council, who have granted Theatre Delicatessen a two-year lease to work in the building. Situated almost in the centre of the park, on the one road which cuts right through, the library was built together with slipper baths and washhouse in 1903. Most recently the Old Library was occupied by theatre company Just Jones, and used as pop up arts space.
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Notes to Editors
Photographs available on request
By making meanwhile use of empty buildings, often in the heart of long-standing resident communities, Theatre Delicatessen has always looked to create activities and opportunities for people from across the community. Thanks to this innovative and entrepreneurial approach Theatre Delicatessen has been acknowledged a one of Britain’s leading supporters of the next generation of theatremakers, and in February 2011 led to The Observer heralding the company as one of the “Bright Young Things Changing British Theatre”
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Involuntary Movement uses dance and drama as a tool for inclusion, engagement and learning.
The company runs a range of programs across Southwark as well as in Westminster and Tower Hamlets. involuntarymovement takes an approach to creative practices and cultural activity, where the arts, and especially movement arts, are used as a vehicle to support, reflect and facilitate a cultural shift towards independent, self-directed and healthy living.
Involuntary Movement’s programs cater for people with learning disabilities and mental ill heath by using music, words and non-verbal communication to create an open and inviting space to grow.