Bridging the gap
LONDON’S new Bridge Theatre will open its first season in October with a new comedy about Karl Marx’s youth, it was announced last week. The 900-seat theatre next to City Hall, near Tower Bridge, is a joint venture from Sir Nicholas Hytner and Nick Starr, former artistic and executive directors respectively of the National Theatre, who founded the London Theatre Company together in 2015.
They intended to create a ‘bold, popular’ venue to cater to the 25% increase in audiences over the past 15 years and The Bridge has been billed as the first wholly new theatre of scale to be added in the capital for 80 years and the first to be built beyond the West End.
It cost £12 million, backed by a group of venture-capital investors, and Mr Starr calls it the ‘new independent on the scene, driven by both a mission and a bottom line’. ‘We’ve commissioned ambitious plays and we’ve built an environment for them that is exciting, welcoming and flexible: a theatre that can be changed to suit the show,’ says Sir Nicholas.
Young Marx (October 18 to December 31) will be directed by Sir Nicholas, as will Julius Caesar (January 20 to April 15, 2018), starring Ben Whishaw. These will be followed by another new play, Nightfall by Barney Norris (April 28 to June 3, 2018), and public booking for all three opens tomorrow (from £15 to £65, www.bridge theatre.co.uk).
Rory Kinnear as the young Karl Marx