Dalston set to welcome new performing arts venue


Dalston in east London is already considered to be among the city’s most hip areas, home to lots of great music acts and a vibrant cultural scene.

And it has just been confirmed that the district will soon welcome another fringe venue, which will feature two performance spaces that will host theatre, comedy and music events.

The new venue, otherwise known as Ophelia, is found in the basement of a new cafe, Lift 574.

Designers have confirmed that the impressive venue will comprise a 50-seat theatre, as well as a cocktail bar.

There are ambitious plans in place for the venue, which has undergone a £150,000 face-lift, with the long-term hope of hosting films, plays and much else in between throughout the year.

Speaking to thestage.co.uk, venue manager Michael Jinks revealed plans to run shows that have an historical theme.

For instance, he suggested that a number of performances in 2014 will hark back to the start of World War I, 100 years earlier.

“We want this to be a live space for everyone in the arts to come and play. During the day we want people to come and create things they wouldn’t get a chance to create elsewhere because the prices in London are ridiculous,” he said.

He added that even though the venue has still to open, there are already some ambitious long-term plans in place.

“We want this to be known as a quality fringe venue that attracts big companies and, in a few years, we would like to see something transfer from here to the West End or on tour,” Mr Jinks added.

The overarching ambition behind the venue is to provide a platform for talented performers, according to Kate Stallworthy, who will manage the venue.

She added that she’d like to see Ophelia become a creative hub for the industry.