A new musical and three one-person shows will feature in the very first season at Waterloo East theatre, a new venue under a railway arch south of the river.
The new theatre, which has been founded by producer Gerald Armin and his business partners Aidan Dooley and Pat Moylan, opens on 2 September with a one-man show written and performed by Dooley. Tom Crean – Antarctic Explorer tells the life story of explorer Crean, who served with Scott and Shackleton and survived three iconic expeditions. Tom Crean – Antarctic Explorer plays just three performances at Waterloo East theatre before Dooley embarks on a world tour.
The second show of the season, playing from 8 to 26 September, is former Spitting Image actor Jessica Martin’s solo show Sunset Bitch, a portrait of Veronique Raymond, a self-proclaimed Hollywood legend and diva. On the eve of her long-anticipated return to the London stage, Raymond shares her extraordinary journey from rags to riches, revealing why she became the Sunset Bitch.
Dougal Irvine’s coming-of-age show Departure Lounge is the sole musical offering of the season, running from 27 September to 31 October. The show, which has previously played the Edinburgh Festival, centres on four less-than-innocent 18-year-olds who are delayed at Malaga airport after a post-A Levels week in the sun. Reminiscing about their holiday, it soon becomes clear that their memories differ, particularly when it comes to romance.
The autumn programming concludes with Being Sellers (2 to 19 Nov), Carl Caulfield’s poignant comedy about The Goon Show comedian Peter Sellers. David Boyle plays Sellers and a wealth of other characters in this one-man show revived by Waterloo East to mark the 30th anniversary of the comedian’s death.
Speaking about his first season, Armin said: “I’m delighted that we’re now up and running, and can’t wait to welcome audiences through the doors. Over the past few months we have received tremendous support from the local community and I hope that, as the newest addition to the incredibly rich cultural landscape of SE1, we will be able to widen the net of choice available to people looking for a brilliant night out. I aim to programme unexpected, exciting and entertaining fare. The only thing I want to be predictable about Waterloo East theatre is the cost of tickets – always affordable – starting from £10 and we’ll have a ‘pay what you can’ night within the run of every show.”