Eleanor Wallis

New artistic director for Southwark Playhouse

Southwark Playhouse held a gala night on Wednesday 12 November to celebrate the studio theatre's tenth anniversary, and to mark the appointment of Gareth Machin as artistic director.

southwark playhouse team
The Playhouse team with Thea Sharrock (far right) and Gareth Machin (kneeling)

The evening began with a performance of the current play, Ibsen's The Dolls House. The run is the Southwark Playhouse finale for resident artistic director Thea Sharrock.

Artists, staff, volunteers and trustees then headed to Bankside Restaurant for a celebratory reception where co-founders Juliett Alderdice and Tom Wilson thanked all for their support. "We have had a very interesting journey and a pretty amazing time. Thank you to everyone who worked so hard and to the wonderful trustees who have supported and advised us," said Juliett.

Tom added: "The occasion also marks the end of an interesting, eventful and illuminating stewardship of departing artistic director, Thea Sharrock". The newly-appointed Artistic Director is Gareth Machin, formerly of the Bristol Old Vic. He will take over from Thea in the New Year. "I'm delighted to be joining the team at this exciting point in the theatre's development." said Gareth.

Thea Sharrock, who at 25 is the youngest artistic director in charge of a theatre, has made a huge impression during her three-year stint at Southwark Playhouse. She was tipped by the Guardian as ‘one of the faces of new British theatre' and the Evening Standard as one of the top 100 'bright young things'. Her productions at the Playhouse included Trip's Cinch and Mongoose.

The Playhouse has also left its impression upon Thea: "It's been a pleasure to work in the area. Southwark Playhouse is an extremely special place – the jewel of SE1," she said.

The Dolls House is running until 29 November. The run is currently sold-out but a few returns are usually available for each performance. Southwark residents qualify for free tickets, courtesy of sponsorship by Barclays Bank to celebrate the 10-year anniversary. For more details visit the Southwark Playhouse website.

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