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Guest blog, Jamie Eastlake: “Someone somewhere can help. Theatre N16 will survive. It has to.”

Jamie Eastlake

Jamie Eastlake

  • 178  PRODUCTIONS
  • 132 Theatre Companies on risk free deals
  • 1500 Artists
  • 140 Directors
  • 110 New Writers
  • 17 Technicians
  • 200 first credits for actors cvs
  • 25 Actors on Equity contracts for in house productions
  • 28,000 People through the doors and rising
  • 11 BSL performances
  • 3 cheap Rehearsal spaces
  • 42 Number of productions transferred

Theatre N16 has filled a gap in the industry. I’m not saying there aren’t models like ours. However there’s not enough of them. There’s always a debate about  class divide in the arts and the lack of accessibility for so many different individuals, females, BAME actors and producers with not a pot to piss in. N16 was always about giving hope to these people. It sounds proper wanky but I genuinely think we have achieved this.

We’re looking for a new home. One that we can set the foundations up for years to come. We’ve been extremely unlucky so far. It was the perfect space for us. Times were very tough to start. Because I was desperate to secure somewhere our initial agreement was a bit of an odd one. We had to prove to management that we were going to be a worthy asset. This meant programming theatre Sundays- Thursdays and then on a weekend giving the space back to the pub to hold parties. This wasn’t just giving back the space. This was completely de-rigging it and taking down set. If we had a three week run of a show they’d have to do three get outs. It was crazy. No matter what has been thrown against us we’ve overcome it. It didn’t take us long to prove to be a a valuable asset and secure 7 days a week to allow us to offer a more comfortable operation for theatre companies.

My dream move would be to secure a stand alone property. Somewhere where we can run a bar at the same time as the theatre. A place where we can make revenue to support even more companies and artists. We’ve already got the business model planned out from our shortlist for the space in Streatham.  I’m sure there’s people running spaces out there who are sick of what they do, they could be the people who answers our prayer. We’re working on a patron plan that will see us having a bit of leverage in the bank. This will allow us to get the best possible space we can get. This is the dream model. If a cracking pub space in a great area on a great deal came about we’d love to talk it through. Pub theatre is very special to me. I love having a pint, seeing a show then going downstairs to catch the second half of a footy match.

What this call to arms represents is hope. I’m blown away so far my all the messages and people crying out that someone  somewhere can help. Theatre N16 will survive. It has to.

Watch the documentary about when we opened in Balham. I think it sums up everything about us.