Shipwright: New outdoor London venue announces summer festival of theatre, music and dance

Shipwright Select 3

A new outdoor theatre venue is to open in London.

Shipwright will welcome audiences to the grounds of the historic Master Shipwright’s house near Deptford on the banks of the river Thames.


The new venue, with a capacity of 200 seats, has announced a summer season of cabaret, drag, classical music, jazz, contemporary music, theatre, dance and visual art taking place across three weekends from 22 July – 7 August.

Led by Artistic Director, Joseph Winters, and Executive Director, Emma Halstead, the venue will present a mixture of Shipwright co-productions and company takeovers

More information and tickets are now on sale from starting from £10 and an ‘Open Door’ initiative in which hundreds of tickets will be offered for free to local residents.

Shipwright Artistic Director, Joseph Winters, introduces the summer festival today: ““Here’s the big idea: audiences and performers alike come to the theatre, to gigs, to cabaret, in order to feel at home. It is with enormous excitement that we announce Shipwright’s first summer festival: three weekends of entertainment in the heart of Deptford.

“We welcome theatrical world premieres, riotous nights of cabaret and some of the most acclaimed live musicians to delight audiences with a truly diverse programme of great nights out, with arts, food and drink all in one unique venue. Our outdoor space is like nowhere else: from their seats audiences can see and hear the Thames lapping against the auditorium’s edge. #

“In partnership with our friends at Berk’s Nest, we’re letting loose some of the most exciting, silly and anarchic performers in drag and cabaret. Diane Chorley’s Down The Flick has become the stuff of cabaret legend and we’re thrilled to be serving her joyous night of comedy and music al fresco! Baby Lame’s RIOT! let’s rip with the punk anger we all need right now, with performers from all corners of the queer arts. The fun isn’t just for grown-ups either: our resident drag queen, The Nightbus, presents Drag Queen Story Time, in which children get to enjoy empowering stories by writers of colour, read by a cast of progressive and non-conforming queens.

“Leading our Saturday night music bills are rising stars in jazz, hip-hop, soul and folk: Shunaji, Rosie Lowe, the Jon Onabowu Quartet, Christy, and Rory Butler. In partnership with the Queille Festival, we will be welcoming internationally-renowned classical soloists including Lucy Crowe, Tim Mead, Max Baillie, and players from the London Concert, led by Jonny Byers to perform perennial classics in the most sublime setting. A new performance of Messiean’s Quartet for the End of Time performed by the Waterperry Festival Quartet, is accompanied by an experimental new film, and topping off our evening performances, we have DJs to take us into the night every weekend.

Shipwright venue
Shipwright venue

“Our programme of theatre includes two new plays as well as the UK performance premiere of Maggie Nelson’s award-winning memoir, The Argonauts. This epic cover-to cover reading by a revolving cast of female, trans* and non-binary actors will bring this astonishing story to audiences in a whole new way. Chris New’s elegiac play, DIG, is a tender monologue performed by the author, what begins as a meditation on loss becomes a life-affirming reminder of what is valuable in love and life. Asa Haynes’s I… places the black gay experience at the heart of a romantic-comedy, delighting as this most predictable of genres has to stretch and bend around an entirely new narrative, like the ever-changing city of London it inhabits.

“It is particularly exciting to announce OPEN DOORS, our initiative for giving away hundreds of free tickets to our neighbours. We want the people who walk past the theatre every day to be the same people who walk into the theatre every night. If you live alongside us, this space is yours.

“The real star of the show this summer is the historic venue: opening our doors to the world, we are incredibly excited to welcome in audiences to a truly unique and breath taking space directly on the Thames.”

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