- Battersea Arts Centre
name = Battersea Arts Centre
caption = Fill image
city = Wandsworth,
designation = Grade II* listed
latitude = 51.4648
longitude = -0.1607
architect = EW Mountford
owner = BAC Trust
capacity = 500 Grand Hall 140 Lower Hall
opened = 1980
othernames = 1893 Vestry of St Mary 1900 Battersea Town Hall
The Masque of the Red Death
website = www.bac.org.ukThe Battersea Arts Centre (often abbreviated to "BAC") is a
performancespace near Clapham Junctionin Battersea, in the London Borough of Wandsworththat specialises in musicand theatre productions. Sometimes, it is referred to as the "National Theatre of the Fringe" a venue where new productions are first performed and honed prior to tours or possible transfers to the theatres of the West End.
BAC pioneered the "scratch" methodology as part of its "ladder of development" for new work, where performances are shown at various stages of development to an outside audience, whose input and criticism guides the further evolution of the work.
Founded in 1980 in a Grade II*
listed buildingwhich originally opened in 1893 as Battersea Town Hall and converted to a community arts centre in 1974, the building was designed in 1891, by E. W. Mountford. It currently receives a grant towards the building's operating costs from the London Borough of Wandsworth.
In 1901 a large pipe organ was installed in the Grand Hall. This was an unusual instrument designed by
Robert Hope-Jones, a pioneering (and at the time controversial) organ builder who invented many aspects of the modern pipe organ. His ideas went on to form the basis of the Wurlitzer Theatre organ in the 1920s and 30s. The BAC pipe organ has been unusable for years but work has now started to restore it.
David Jubb has been the organisation's artistic director since 2004. David is one of subsidised theatre's most respected producers and is a pioneer of 'creative producing' in the industry. Creative producing underlines BAC's artistic philosophy and, as such, has been the basis of creating one of theatre's most ground-breaking artistic programmes. In 2008 he is joined by David Micklem with whom he shares the Joint Artistic Directorship of BAC.
Productions which were developed or started here have included
PunchdrunkTheatre Company's promenade performance of " The Masque of the Red Death" by Edgar Allan Poeran through most of the building until April 2008.
* Richard Thomas's early work as Kombat Opera including, "Tourette's Diva", leading to the development of
Jerry Springer - The Opera, which premièred here in 2002, before transferring to the National Theatre.
* Jackson's Way - the winner of the 2004
Perrier Awardin Edinburgh. A one man show which both mocks the world motivational speaking and embraces it through encouraging 'pointless actions'.
Companies and artists performing at BAC have included
* Cartoon de Salvo
* Blind Summit
* Frantic Assembly
* Told By An Idiot
* Meadlew Rayken
* David Glass Ensemble
* Mark Bowden
* Matt Fraser
* Filter theatre
* Starving Artists (feat. Mark Pinkosh)
* Liquid Theatre
* Kazuko Hohki
The Plague (English punk rock band)
* [http://www.bac.org.uk/ Battersea Arts Centre]
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