about us

The multi award winning 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. We are the little theatre with big ideas!

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.

Matthew Parker was named Best Artistic Director at the Off West End Awards 2017 for his work at The Hope in 2016.

The Team
Artistic Director: Matthew Parker
Incoming Artistic Director (Jan 2020 onwards): Kennedy Bloomer
Technical Manager: Dan Johnson
Theatre Assistant: Toby Hampton
Rehearsed Reading Coordinator: Lizzie Benbow
Associate Producers: Benjamin Alborough, Cas Hodges & Anthony Orme
Board of Trustees: Jane Mayfield (Chair), Maggie Daniels & Carsten Hayes
Patron: Paul Clayton

“Hope Diamonds”: Simon Malpas, Des Seal, Linda Shoare, Tony Shoults, Ria Milton, Bob Lambert, Anonymous Donors x 2
Click here for more info on how to become a supporter of The Hope Theatre and details of all the benefits

In-House Productions
The first in-house production under new Artistic Director Matthew Parker was the award nominated, 5 star European Premiere of Snoo Wilson’s LOVESONG OF THE ELECTRIC BEAR in early 2015. This production transferred to The Arts, West End in Nov 15 and was a finalist in 3 categories at the Off West End Awards (OFFIES) and winning 2.

2016 saw our first in-house season of 3 shows hitting The Hope space.
SEA LIFE, a dark and magical comedy by Lucy Catherine in the spring, STEEL MAGNOLIAS in the summer & HER ACHING HEART, a lesbian bonkbusting, bodice-ripping musical by Bryony Lavery. Both SEA LIFE & HER ACHING HEART were nominated for multiple OFFIE Awards and garnered a record-breaking amount of 5 star reviews. STEEL MAGNOLIAS won Best OffWestEnd Production at the Break A Leg Critic’s Choice Awards as well as garnering ten 5 star reviews. HER ACHING HEART was named Best Off West End Play by Spy In The Stalls and racked up an amazing eleven 5 star reviews.

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. In 2018 we staged the world premiere of Robin Hooper’s FOUL PAGES and a rare revival of Ionesco’s absurdist classic THE LESSON which was nominated for a further 4 OFFIE Awards including a fifth Best Director nomination for our Artistic Director Matthew Parker.

In 2019 we staged 3 revivals: Joe Orton’s THE RUFFIAN ON THE STAIR, directed by our Patron Paul Clayton, true-crime musical THRILL ME: THE LEOPOLD & LOEB STORY, directed by Matthew Parker and which notched up an amazing seven 5 star reviews and 3 OFFIE Award nominations. We followed this with a rare revival of Wendy MacLeod’s dark comic drama THE HOUSE OF YES which gained a further six 5 star reviews and 2 more OFFIE Award nominations including the sixth nomination as Best Director for our AD Matthew Parker. Matthew was also nominated for a London Pub Theatre Standing Ovation Award for his direction of the show.

Team Biogs

Photographer: lhphotoshots

Matthew Parker – Artistic Director
Matthew is a freelance theatre director and the Off West End award winning Artistic Director of The Hope Theatre. He trained on the Postgraduate Directing Course at Drama Studio London. He was nominated for Best Director at the 2015 Off West End awards for LOVESONG OF THE ELECTRIC BEAR, his inaugural production at The Hope which later transferred to The Arts Theatre, West End. In 2016 he received two Off West End Best Director award nominations for the London premiere of Lucy Catherine’s SEA LIFE and his revival of Bryony Lavery’s gay musical play HER ACHING HEART. He received a fourth Best Director OFFIE nomination for his revival of THARK in Dec 2017, a fifth for THE LESSON (2018) and a sixth nomination for THE HOUSE OF YES (2019). The Hope was shortlisted as Fringe Theatre of the Year at The Stage Awards 2017. Matthew was named Best Artistic Director at the 2017 Off West End Awards for his work at The Hope.
He has a passion for bringing his visual imagination and physical style to classic stories, with a penchant for emotionally raw, visually beautiful work. Matthew is represented by Jean Diamond at Diamond Management. For more info on his work please visit his website at www.matthewparker.net

Dan Johnson – Technical Manager (From June 2019)
Dan is a freelance technician and creative, also working as an actor, fight director and tutor/teacher. Born and raised in the North, from an early age Dan’s always had a passion for the arts and began training as an actor, later followed by becoming qualified in stage combat and other varying physical skill sets. With a thirst for the knowledge in the way things work and how to use them; he quickly found an interest behind the scenes in the technical world – leading to becoming a technician for countless theatre shows and corporate events. Whether it be playing Vanya in Moscow, sword fighting across Ireland, teaching the next generation at Drama Centre or technically managing one of London’s leading off west end theatres; Dan is constantly pushing forward and working on the next challenge – always appreciating how lucky he is to get to work and play in the industry he loves. www.dj-jw.com

Photographer: Ivan Berg

Toby Hampton – Theatre Assistant
Toby is responsible for trying to make everybody’s lives at The Hope a little bit easier! He assists with everything from basic admin to in-house get-ins. He is thrilled to be a part of this thriving theatre and can’t wait to continue working with all the in-house team and incredible incoming companies that bring their work to The Hope.When he’s not drafting contracts or fixing door handles at The Hope, Toby is also a freelance theatre Director and Producer. He has formed LKT Productions with his Hope Theatre buddies Luke Adamson and Kennedy Bloomer. In May 2018 they produced the 5-Star Oh No It Isn’t at The Hope and in 2019 this show embarked on a UK tour.


Lizzie Benbow – Rehearsed Reading Coordinator
Lizzie is a freelance theatre director, who originally trained and worked as an actor, she then switched her focus to directing and graduated from LAMDA with her masters in September 2018. Previous productions as director include: Unentitled, at the Lion and the Unicorn Theatre, Sweeney Todd, at the Royal College of Music, The Department of Interpersonal Relations, at the Pleasance Theatre London, Friday Night Queues, with Full Disclosure Theatre Company at the Southwark Playhouse, Flying Ant Day, with Broken Silence at the Old Red Lion, Out of Love, at LAMDA and Tension Square, which she took to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
Her interest is in female-led new writing, bringing new voices and stories alive, that explore themes and ideas that are deemed ‘taboo’ or ‘un-ladylike’.


The Hope Theatre is managed by Solar Plexus Productions Limited. Registered in England and Wales. Company No: 09175959
Solar Plexus Productions Limited is a Registered Charity. Charity No: 1162904
Registered Address: Flat 3, 120 Prince of Wales Road, London NW5 3NE