South London venue the Omnibus Theatre is to begin a £150,000 redevelopment project, which will include the launch of a new cafe and rehearsal space.
The redevelopment is being overseen by Marks Barfield, one of the architects of the London Eye. As part of the plans, a cafe and bar will be built at the front of the venue, to replace the existing one at the back of the building.
The venue wants the new cafe to drive footfall to the theatre and encourage people to come in.
Omnibus said the works would also allow the organisation to increase its outreach and participation programme, and that the project would introduce a rehearsal and performance space on the ground floor, alongside its 110-seat theatre. The new cafe/bar space will also host creative writing workshops.
Building work will begin in August and will be completed in time for the venue’s autumn season.
Artistic director Marie McCarthy said the new spaces would “enrich the experience for both audiences and theatremakers who use our facilities on a daily basis”.
“My aim is for Omnibus Theatre to be an approachable and inclusive destination with an artistic programme and initiatives that reflect the diversity of the community,” she added.
Chair of the trustees Fiona Mactaggart said that the new cafe and bar would create a “welcoming local social space and make the building feel closer to people living in Clapham, and those who might be nervous about crossing the threshold into a theatre”.