Plans to build a home for children’s theatre company Tall Stories at Islington’s Central Library have been approved.
Designed by Haworth Tompkins, a new rehearsal studio with retractable seating will be built as part of ongoing refurbishment at the grade II-listed building. The studio will also double as a performance venue and gives the company its first permanent home.
The new facility will provide a space for the company to preview its shows, and showcase free exhibitions based on storytelling, in collaboration with the library.
Tall Stories will put on 15 free performances a year for school children, in addition to themed workshops and providing free educational materials to primary schools in the London borough.
Councillor Asima Shaikh said: “We’re delighted with this innovative partnership with Tall Stories, which will take a vacant, underused space and convert it into a brilliant new rehearsal space that will provide creative learning experiences for local people.”
“As part of this partnership, children, families and adults in the borough will benefit from a range of free activities to help our libraries promote reading,” she added.
Further refurbishment to the building will include reinstating the public foyer from the Holloway Road entrance to provide access to the library at ground floor level.
Theatres Trust national planning adviser Tom Clarke said that renovating the venue would “bring people into the building and contribute towards the wider objective of making more effective use of the library to maintain it as a community asset for local people”.
He added that building the studio would “increase the strength and diversity of cultural provision within Islington as well as provide a much-needed rehearsal space and support an existing community facility”.
A start date for the building work has yet to be confirmed.