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New Canning Town fringe theatre to be ‘incubator’ for London productions

Actors Tosh Wanogho-Maud and Gareth Andrews are behind the new east London theatre
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A new fringe theatre is being created in east London by two actors, with the aim of being an “incubator” for small-scale producers.

The project will offer an “enterprising” take on producing, with the building, in Canning Town, comprising working space and support services alongside a 300-seat flexible performance venue.

Co-founder Gareth Andrews said the as yet unnamed theatre, which will be created in a disused property, would provide resources for theatremakers wanting to produce work on the fringe, as well ensuring that small-scale producers are given the support they need to create work successfully.

“We want to try and implement the support on a practical basis, like an incubator, that was our original idea. There will be resources there for desk space, but also the venue as well so they can utilise and present the work that they have been working on. Within that we are going to have creative and support services, offering some mentoring and workshops to support new theatre productions,” Andrews told The Stage.

He added that he wanted the project to be an “extension” of other producing support schemes such as Stage One.

The performance space – which has not yet been created – will marry the old with the new, with seats and other theatre equipment donated by Delfont Mackintosh from the Victoria Palace Theatre, which is under refurbishment.

Andrews and co-founder Tosh Wanogho-Maud are both actors and were inspired to start the project after struggling to find venues when deciding to produce their own work.

Andrews said that when the theatre opens, he wants to focus on programming companies and producers paying the Equity fringe agreement as a minimum.

“Being actors, we know how important that is,” he added.

The pair are working with developers on the project, but will also launch a crowdfunding campaign in the coming weeks to raise money to fit out the theatre.

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