the little theatre with BIG ideas

Welcome to The Hope Theatre; a multi award winning 50-seat venue above the world famous Hope and Anchor pub on Islington’s Upper Street. The Hope opened it’s doors in November 2013 with Matthew Parker taking the helm as Artistic Director in October 2014.

Although The Hope Theatre receives no public subsidy, it was the first Off West End venue to open with a house agreement with Equity, the UK’s largest performers union, to ensure a legal wage for all actors, stage managers and box office staff working at the theatre. Read more about it here

The Hope Theatre is a place for audiences and companies to explore BIG ideas. We nurture and develop new producing models, working with exciting companies to present a mix of new writing, lost gems from well-known writers, re-polished classics and innovatively staged musicals.

The Hope also stages in-house productions under the direction of Artistic Director Matthew Parker. The Hope won 2 Offie Awards in 2016 for its first in-house production; the European premiere of Snoo Wilson’s Lovesong of the Electric Bear directed by Matthew. 2016 also saw the first in-house season of 3 productions, all under the direction of Matthew Parker taking place in the spring, summer and winter. Sea Life by Lucy Catherine, Steel Magnolias (winner of the Critic’s Choice Break A Leg awards for Best Off West End Production 2016) and Her Aching Heart by Bryony Lavery (Best Off West End Play, Spy In The Stalls Award). In May 2017 we staged the 40th anniversary revival of Dennis Potters controversial masterpiece Brimstone & Treacle. The production once more garnered a staggering amount of 5 star reviews and 2 Offie Award nominations. Two more in-house shows directed by Matthew followed in 2018; the world premiere of Robin Hooper’s Foul Pages and a revival of Ionesco’s absurdist classic The Lesson which was nominated for 4 Offie Awards. In 2019 our Patron Paul Clayton directed a sell-out in-house revival of Joe Orton’s The Ruffian on the Stair and Matthew directed the true-crime musical Thrill Me: The Leopold & Loeb Story which gained seven 5 star review and 3 more Offie Award nominations.

Matthew Parker was named Best Artistic Director at the Off West End Awards 2017 for his work at The Hope in 2016. The Hope won the 2019 Offie Award for Best Social Media Activity & Online Presence which was voted for by the public. The Hope was shortlisted as Fringe Theatre of the Year at The Stage Awards 2017.

The Hope Theatre has seen three productions transfer to the West End; Ushers to the Charing Cross Theatre, 46 Beacon to the Trafalgar Studios and Lovesong Of The Electric Bear to The Arts.

Matthew Parker: Best Artistic Director at the Off West End Awards 2017