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Fringe theatre group that lost Canonbury home stages its own revival

Tower Theatre has been using temporary venues across London since losing its lease on Canonbury Tower in 2003

07 September, 2018 — By Helen Chapman

Theatre trustee Sarah Ambrose, chairman and project manager David Taylor and trustee Stephen Ley

A FRINGE theatre which was forced to quit its premises 15 years ago has finally found a place to call home.

The Tower Theatre has been renting buildings across London since losing its lease on Canonbury Tower in 2003, a problem blamed on an admin mix-up.

It continued to stage 18 productions a year by finding temporary venues, but will now lay down roots firmly at a building in Northwold Road, Stoke Newington.

During the search for a permanent home, the theatre’s membership fell from 1,300 to around 700.

Theatre trustee Sarah Ambrose said: “We are looking for bar volunteers and front-of-house volunteers. Acting members can audition to take part in performances.

Artistic director Martin Mulgrew with a costume from the theatre’s production of Wolf Hall

“There is a great deal of opportunity for people to get involved. Acting is not the only thing this theatre does. There are lots of ancillary roles for people to take part in. We are delighted that so many local people have already shown an interest.”

A production of Henry V will open on September 26, initially with a members-only house-warming.

The new building boasts three rehearsal rooms, bar, box office, and a huge circular stage with seating an audience of 110.

The building was previously a gym, and a swimming pool has been converted into storage space.

Trustee Stephen Ley said: “We have opened up the splendid roof and are installing lights to highlight the old church features. We can then dim the lights to take the focus away from the building and onto the lovely actors.”

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