Tabard Theatre Relaunched As Chiswick Playhouse

Ambitious plans to be 'the breeding ground for the next generation of top creatives'

tabard theatre

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Chiswick Playhouse, Bath Road, Chiswick, W4 1LW

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Chiswick Playhouse

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The Tabard Theatre has been relaunched with a new name, a refurbishment and an ambitious new line-up of shows for the next three months.

It will now be known as Chiswick Playhouse, and there are plans to bring new directing and acting talent to Chiswick.

The Executive Director, Mark Perry commented; "Chiswick Playhouse may be a small space but it has big ambitions and promises a fantastic opening season to mark its exciting relaunch."

The plan is to produce new work as well as reimagining classic stories. The theatre will create its own in-house productions and bring shows of West End calibre to West London at a fraction of the ticket price!

The season will open on 30 October with I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, directed by Charlotte Westenra (Kiss of the Spiderman, Donmar Warehouse) which will star George Rae (Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat and The Lion King, West End) and Dominic Hodson (War Horse and Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, West End), alongside Laura Johnson (Hair 50th Anniversary, The Vaults and Hope Mill Theatre) and Naomi Slights (Mamma Mia, West End).

The new season also includes a Hansel and Gretel story, and a gripping revival of Tryst, (a passion-fuelled thriller which saw huge success in 2017).

The festive option, Christmas at Chiswick Playhouse is a series of Sunday evening concerts throughout December featuring a host of the UK’s leading musical theatre talent. There will be free mulled wine, songs from hit shows and Christmas classics.

The Tabard Theatre has been part of the community and cultural life of Chiswick since the 1980s, and like most pub theatres has been run on a small budget.

It has, however, successfully hosted a huge variety of plays ranging from small independent theatre company productions, to comedy gigs 'from top performers.

Local actors who have graced the stage include Fenella Fielding, Janet Ellis, Kevin McNally and Phyllis Logan. Even Alan Alda flew over from Hollywood when his play was staged a few years ago.

Perry comments; "Having been a Chiswick resident myself for over 15 years, I’m aware of the remarkable history of artists and theatre practitioners that have lived and worked in the area. By changing the name, we want to demonstrate our pride in our local heritage and ensure that the local community recognises the venue as Chiswick’s local theatre.

"We also want the wider London theatregoing audience to recognise our reputation as an exciting producing theatre, creating shows that will start in Chiswick and move on to other London venues and beyond. Lots of venues focus on types of work – new writing, musicals etc. Rather than genres, we want Chiswick Playhouse to be the breeding ground for the next generation of top creatives.

"As part of our first season we’re delighted to have rising stars Charlotte Westenra, Lucy Jane Atkinson and Phoebe Barran directing our in-house productions."

The 100-seat theatre has also been used as a venue for political debates and for author interviews during the Chiswick Book Festival.

The theatre is upstairs at the Tabard pub, a Grade II listed building in Bath Road. It did close two years ago for a refurbishment, including a new bar and improved seating.

The Tabard brought important and innovative theatre back to Chiswick after a gap of over twenty years following the 1959 closure of the much-loved Chiswick Empire.

You can read more about the history of theatre in Chiswick and the playwrights and writers from the area here, on the Chiswick Timeline, compiled by the director of the Chiswick Book Festival, Torin Douglas.


October 9, 2019


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October 10, 2019

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