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Rehearsal rooms: The spaces giving performers plenty of room for improvement

Rehearsals for Groundhog Day at 3 Mills Studios in London. Photo: Manuel Harlan

The following is a selection of the capital’s well appointed rehearsal, casting and meeting rooms.

Based near Bromley-by-Bow underground station, 3 Mills Studios is the preferred rehearsal venue for leading UK theatre, film and TV companies, such as Playful Productions, Cameron Mackintosh and English National Opera. It offers two large rehearsal stages and two rehearsal rooms ranging from 1,690 sq ft to 3,945 sq ft. One is perfect for aerial work, and all rehearsal rooms are close to showers, toilets, production offices, make-up and dressing rooms. There are also nine filming stages suitable for large-scale rehearsals – Stage 5 has a similar floor space to the stage at the Royal Albert Hall. Access is 24/7; minimum hire period is one week. Visit 3mills.com

Sylvia Young Theatre School has become a popular central London location for rehearsals and castings for TV, film and theatre. The school offers 10 spacious, state-of-the-art studios with air conditioning, pianos, sprung floors and sound systems. Visit syts.co.uk

Shoreditch Town Hall works with some of the UK’s most exciting new and established artists, developing new work. A range of flexible and differently sized spaces is available for London and regional artists and organisations to rehearse live performance, film and TV as well as undertake castings, read-throughs and production meetings. shoreditchtownhall.com

Deptford Lounge at the Albany holds up to 100 performers in its air-conditioned studio with a sprung floor and mirrored wall
Deptford Lounge at the Canada Water Culture Space holds up to 100 performers in its air-conditioned studio with a sprung floor and mirrored wall

Vinters Studios in Streatham, South London, provides space for rehearsals, workshops, recordings, art projects and exhibitions, as well as photographic and video shoots. Light and airy, with its own kitchenette, fast Wi-Fi and piano, it is a quiet, productive oasis, entered through a relaxing courtyard garden, run by experienced theatre practitioner David Harvey who can provide friendly advice and practical help. Vinters is a past winner of best small entrepreneur at the Streatham Business Awards. Visit vintersstudios.co.uk

Deptford Lounge at the Canada Water Culture Space holds up to 100 in a state-of-the art, air-conditioned rehearsal studio with a sprung floor and mirrored wall. The fully soundproofed music room offers a more intimate option for rehearsal space, with a capacity of 20. Great block booking rates available. For more information and a 360-degree tour, visit deptfordlounge.org.uk

St Agnes, Kennington Park, offers a welcoming environment, with peaceful surroundings, free Wi-Fi and a park and cafe nearby. Companies regularly using the hall include Theatre Royal Bath, Birmingham Stage Company and the Lord Chamberlain’s Men. Half weeks or individual days are sometimes available for hire too. Sally Vaughan is delighted to help theatre companies with their bookings. Visit stagneskenningtonpark.co.uk

Brixton Community Base, near Brixton tube, offers two rehearsal rooms of 16 x 7 metres and 9 x 7 metres. Facilities include use of production office, props room, pianos, mobile mirrors, blackout curtains and kitchen. For more information, visit brixtoncommunitybase.org

Diorama Arts Centre, Euston Road, London, is ideally placed for public transport, being close to Warren Street and Great Portland Street tubes. It consists of 12 smart new studio spaces of varying sizes, suitable for rehearsals, auditions, meetings or receptions. A wide of range of equipment is available for hire. Visit diorama-arts.org.uk

English Folk Dance and Song Society at Cecil Sharp House provides spaces suitable for rehearsals of all sizes and for all activities. Ideal for orchestra, theatre and dance rehearsals, Kennedy is light, bright and has plenty of space; Trefusis features a mirror along the length of the room, and Storrow can be used as a smaller rehearsal room or to store costumes or props. Visit cecilsharphouse.org

St James’ Church in Piccadilly offers flexible, hourly rates in the heart of the West End
St James’ Church in Piccadilly offers flexible, hourly rates in the heart of the West End

Arts Theatre, Leicester Square, has rooms ideal for all types of rehearsals and workshops available for hire seven days a week. Facilities include lockable storage, a kitchen and a mirrored wall, making these spaces some of the best-equipped facilities in central London. Additional amenities include a helpful reception, cafe (discount available for hirers) and an array of local shops and restaurants. Competitive rates and discounts are available for block bookings. Visit artstheatrewestend.co.uk

Sadler’s Wells is equipped to accommodate some of the most prestigious dance companies from around the world. With Harlequin sprung floors, ballet barres, mirrors, pianos and built-in PA systems, these high-range and accessible studios are available for private hire. Week-long bookings and individual days are available. Visit sadlerswells.com

Graeae Theatre Company has modern, adaptable spaces available to hire for rehearsals, meetings, workshops, conferences and social events. The Rehearsal space is a 10.7 x 8.5 metre soundproofed room offering great acoustics, high specification lighting and sound rig, sprung floor, dance mirrors, changing facilities, toilet and shower. The Creative Hub (7 x 4 metre) is a versatile space offering good natural light suitable for meetings, workshops or presentations. Use of a 40in TV or projector is also available upon request. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the building. Visit graeae.org

St James’ Church in Piccadilly offers flexible, hourly rates in the heart of the West End. Two rooms offer three room options as they open up to form one larger space. Free Wi-Fi, good quality piano for use, a projector and laptop are also available. Perfect for auditions, castings and rehearsals. Prices start from £40 per hour. Visit sjp.org.uk

Jerwood Space, near Southwark tube, houses seven state-of-the-art studios (five with production offices), two meeting rooms, along with sprung floors, pianos, Wi-Fi, cafe, showers and a green room. Subsidised rates are available for selected dance and theatre companies. Spaces are also for hire for private events, while the two rooftop boardrooms offer fully serviced meeting areas. For more information, visit jerwoodspace.co.uk

Bureau of Silly Ideas, located in Brixton, offers flexible studios available for performance, rehearsal, film, photography and making. It also boasts a network of affiliated artists in many fields such as immersive theatre, circus, makers, light and sound designers, producers and art directors. There is parking, loading and it is only a five-minute walk from Brixton tube station. Visit bureauofsillyideas.com

3 Mills Studios

Groundhog Day rehearsals. Photo: Manuel Harlan
Groundhog Day rehearsals. Photo: Manuel Harlan

Tom Avison is head of studios at 3 Mills Studios, a film, TV and rehearsal studio in east London. He is responsible for the management and day-to-day operations of the site…

Tell us about your business.

3 Mills Studios is an iconic production and rehearsal destination in the heart of London’s most vibrant creative community. Situated in east London, 3 Mills Studios is one of the most accessible studios in the UK with excellent transport links to Soho. With nine filming stages and four dedicated theatre spaces, we have the facilities to fit the bill and help our clients create outstanding results.

Who are your clients?

We work with all the main West End production companies, including Cameron Mackintosh, Kenny Wax, Playful Productions and Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures. It is great to see well-known musicals such as Miss Saigon and Wicked return over the years, as well as new productions such as Groundhog Day grow and develop from script to stage.

What sets you apart from the competition?

We are home to a dedicated theatrical rehearsal space that offers more than 9,000 sq ft rehearsal space set across three flexible rooms, with additional breakout space, dressing rooms and bathrooms. Situated entirely on its own floor, our clients can enjoy quiet, private space to allow them to rehearse and produce their very best work.


For further listings of suppliers to the arts and entertainment industry, visit thestage.co.uk/directory