Opening in 2014, The Hope Theatre was originally a sister theatre of Islington’s King’s Head Theatre. That Autumn, the theatre was switched to the hands of Matthew Parker (The Hope’s first Artistic Director) and Solar Plexus Productions Limited.
The theatre was then renovated from a function room above the famous Hope & Anchor pub and music venue to a black box studio theatre and opened for business. Since then the theatre has gone from strength to strength including West End transfers, a Best Artistic Director award for Matthew Parker and critical acclaim for our many productions.
In 2020, Kennedy Bloomer became the new Artistic Director of the theatre and is currently programming her first year.
Hope & Anchor
The Hope Theatre is above the Hope and Anchor pub. The building can trace its history back to 1880 and developed as a famous music venue in the years to come. The pub is now owned and operated by the Greene King brewing company, still has numerous gigs in the downstairs basement and is a hotspot for music and theatre lovers alike.
Notable acts to have played at the venue:
- Adam and the Ants
- Dire Straits
- Joy Division
- The Clash
- The Cure
- The Pogues
- The Police
The first in-house production under former 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 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 then 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, 2 OFFIE Awards for the two actors Bart Lambert & Jack Reitman jointly as Best Male Actor and a further OFFIE nominations for Set and Costume for Rachael Ryan. 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.