Following a long search for more accessible premises, the Gate will be moving to a new theatre space in Camden this month.
Along the way, we’ve found ourselves having lots of interesting conversations with our team, supporters and new neighbours about our move. We think these are most easily and best summed up in the questions and answers below.
Why have you made the decision to move to Camden?
For more than two years, the Gate has been searching for more accessible premises. Following a successful revival of Dear Elizabeth at 26 Crowndale in Camden, it was clear that this was a viable new home for us. Tried though we might, during our long search, it became clear that finding an accessible home near our existing home in Notting Hill was unfortunately not possible. We are excited by this new opportunity for the Gate Theatre, a 30 minute bus ride away from our original home. 26 Crowndale offers a larger, wheelchair accessible and step-free performance space, foyer and bar space, providing an enhanced experience for artists and audiences. Importantly, the larger flexible 120 seat auditorium enables us to retain our unique artistic identity for innovative design.
How will this physically accessible space help the Gate?
Founded above a pub in 1979, the Gate Theatre has nurtured early work by major artists. We are excited to embark on this new chapter at the Gate as we reflect on the world’s affairs and tell stories in our new wheelchair accessible and step-free space with new artists, audiences, and communities. It’s a game changer, and it’s just the beginning.
What have you been up to in the last two years?
In March 2020, we were forced to close our doors for live performances due to the impact of COVID-19. We were inspired as ever to make work and engage with our audiences. Across the last two years, we have responded with creativity and ingenuity, with online sharings, outdoor audio projects, community work, and support for our artists. In 2021, we returned back to live performance. Our original space on Pembridge Road is often known as the smallest Off-West-End theatre in London, with an average of 75 seats, which made social distancing unviable. This was the context to our first venture at 26 Crowndale last year, where we presented a revival of Dear Elizabeth in a safer, socially distanced auditorium.
How will the Gate fit in with existing theatres in Camden?
One of the things which excites us most about our move to Camden is the opportunity to be part of an existing theatre space in Camden. 26 Crowndale Road, home to Theatro Technis, has a long and established history and shares many of our values. We are delighted to be in such great company in Camden, and already have plans to make work with some of our neighbours in terms of both theatre venues and the local community. We have been overwhelmed by the support of so many of our new neighbours already.
How will Gate Theatre operate at 26 Crowndale Road?
At 26 Crowndale, the Gate will continue to do five shows a year, as we did at our original venue on Pembridge Road. We will continue and build on lots of the existing schemes familiar to Gate audiences, including Open Gate and our Ways to Save. One notable exciting difference is that we will share the theatre space with other companies throughout the year. The Gate Theatre will be a resident partner at 26 Crowndale. We are really excited by this opportunity to collaborate and support other brilliant independent theatre makers. We think this is an exciting opportunity to be part of a pioneering shared space model for the wider theatre ecology.