About Us

Arcola Theatre presents diverse, engaging work for a local and international audience.

Described by The Stage as “one of the great success stories of the British theatre”, Arcola has championed new writing and forgotten classics ever since its foundation in 2000. Now based in a converted paint factory in Dalston, East London, Arcola offers world-class productions of plays, operas and musicals alongside work from some of the most exciting young companies and artists. The theatre runs one of the most extensive multi-cultural community and youth programmes in East London, awarding over 3000 opportunities every year.

What does Arcola mean to you? (video by James Rattee)


Arcola has staged work with some of the best living actors, writers and directors, including:

Adam Rapp Geraldine James Mike Bartlett
Ariel Dorfman Greg Hicks Rebecca Lenkiewicz
Bill Bryden Helena Kaut-Howson Roger Lloyd-Pack
Bonnie Greer Jack Shepherd Rupert Friend
David Bamber Joe Sims Sam Shepard
David Farr Kathryn Hunter Sean Holmes
Dominic Dromgoole Lia Williams Timberlake Wertenbaker
Eric Schlosser Linda Bassett Toby Jones
Frank McGuinness Max Stafford-Clark William Gaskill
Each year,
  • Arcola presents around 60 productions and events. Half are new plays and involve new talent and young companies. In 2013/14, a third were by ethnically diverse artists and two-thirds had women at the helm as writers, directors and producers
  • Arcola provides 28 weeks of free rehearsal, showcasing and office space to emerging ethnically diverse artists
  • Over 2,500 students attend our performances
“An undisputed powerhouse” Time Out

“The Arcola is one of the great success stories of the British theatre… The Arcola buzzes” The Stage

“Arcola is a powerhouse of new work” The Observer

“Arcola Theatre brings the very best of the world’s performing and visual arts to the people of the world living and working in London” The Guardian


Arcola Theatre is run by Arcola Theatre Production Company, a charity registered in England and Wales (Charity Number: 1108613). Arcola is a founding member of Hackney Theatre Partnership, a member of OffWestEnd.com, and a member of the London Hub of Sustained Theatre which is part of the National Sustained Theatre network.