By Paul Johnson
After just over three years, London’s Bunker Theatre is to close its doors as the ex-underground car park is lined up for a proposed redevelopment.
After an incredible tenure, The Bunker is closing its doors. Due to proposed redevelopment of the site, The Bunker will present its final show at 53a Southwark Street (close to London Bridge) on Saturday, 28 March 2020, three and a half years after the theatre opened in Oct 2016.
Launched by founding directors Joshua McTaggart and Joel Fisher, The Bunker Theatre is a converted car park that has provided a safe, supportive and inclusive space for artists. In 2018, Artistic Director, Chris Sonnex joined Executive Director David Ralf to lead the theatre.
Over the past three years, the theatre has seen over 160 productions from single nights to month-long runs. This year 86% of writers and 90% of directors working in the theatre identified as women, and the majority of writers and directors working with the venue identified as being from a background underrepresented on UK stages. The inclusivity seen in The Bunker’s programming extends to its audience. Having welcomed over 40,000 ticketholders through the doors, it has also made over 500 tickets available for free this year through Black Ticket Project and committed since opening to make £10 tickets available at each performance for under-25s which increased to under-30s in 2018. A high percentage of visitors have been first-time theatregoers and from all socio-economic backgrounds, races, genders, religions, disabilities and sexualities.
While no future space has yet been identified, Bunker Theatre Productions CIC is looking to explore options for other spaces where it would continue to support, develop and champion emerging artists.