Southwark Playhouse has won the 2011 Empty Space Peter Brook Award for its “enormous energy”.
The future of the venue, which is housed below London Bridge Station, looked to be at risk due to redevelopment plans for the station. However, Network Rail recently said that it was prepared to offer the theatre a spot in the final scheme.
In a statement released by the judges about the nominees, the venue’s citation read: “Southwark Playhouse, under the directorship of Chris Smyrnios, has created miracles in its constant evolvement in refurbishing the grounds, the theatre, the expansion into the vault and in the eclectic selection of plays that has been fabulously received.
“The enormous energy that vibrates throughout both venues is a joy. Its departure from London Bridge vaults cannot be for long â€“ we will follow its journey.”
Meanwhile, the Dan Crawford Innovation Award was given to National Theatre Wales and the Mark Marvin Rent Subsidy Award was given to Exeter-based Bike Shed Theatre. The Peter Brook/Equity Ensemble Award was handed to the Faction theatre company.
Nicholas Kent, outgoing artistic director of the Tricycle Theatre, was given the Peter Brook/Mobius Special Achievement Award. Kent has led the Kilburn venue since 1984 and is due to leave at the end of March 2012. His work at the Tricycle has included directing the Great Game Trilogy and several productions with journalist Richard Norton-Taylor. He was given a special Evening Standard Theatre Award in 2006 for pioneering political theatre.
The Empty Space Peter Brook Awards are presented annually by London TheatReviews with the National Theatre Studio and the V&A’s theatre department.