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Pleasance in London launches 80-seat space for ‘transfers and premieres’

Pleasance Theatre's Downstairs in its original Edinburgh location Pleasance Theatre's Downstairs in its original Edinburgh location
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An 80-seat temporary theatre, first introduced at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, is moving to London to become a third space for the Pleasance Theatre in Islington.

Pleasance Downstairs was first created last year as the Beside at the Pleasance in Edinburgh, but will now be based in London for 10 months of the year. It will return to the Pleasance Courtyard in Edinburgh for the festival every August.

The Pleasance said its London location would allow “for rehearsals during the day and performance in the evening”.

Pleasance head of theatre Nic Connaughton said: “This is an exciting time for the Pleasance in Islington with the launch of our new 80-seat thrust venue – Downstairs. Downstairs will focus on longer-run text-based theatre, presenting both transfers and premieres from the most exciting companies and playwrights.”

Connaughton said the new venue would complement its existing Stage Space and Main House.

“Stage Space will remain the home of adventurous companies and artists, taking risks with new ideas and stories. Our Main House will continue to welcome the best in UK and international theatre, with a specific focus on musicals, unique takes on modern classics, high-quality touring productions and presenting the best work made by companies outside of London,” he added.

Pleasance director Anthony Alderson said the “new space will undoubtedly become a valuable a part of London’s theatre network”.

News of the extra space comes as the Pleasance prepares to reopen following a refurbishment.

The Pleasance Downstairs launches with four new productions including a transfer of the critically acclaimed Bismillah! (an ISIS tragicomedy) by Matthew Greenhough and the world premiere of Bingo by Alan Flanagan.

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