Redevelopment closes the doors at The Bunker

Published: 31 October 2019
Reporter: Sandra Giorgetti

The Bunker Credit: The Bunker Theatre
The Bunker Credit: The Bunker Theatre

The Bunker, a theatre established in the Southwark area of London by directors Joshua McTaggart and Joel Fisher in 2016, is to close in March.

Formerly a converted car park, the site is now to be redeveloped leaving Bunker Theatre Productions looking for new premises.

To date, there have been more than 160 productions at the venue with support to its artists including dramaturgy, directorial and producing advice, a free-to-use writers snug and free space for R and D projects and readings.

Young audiences and audiences from underrepresented groups have also been supported through the Black Ticket Project and £10 tickets for the under-30s.

Notable productions include the award-winning Skin A Cat, Cardboard Citizen’s 25th Anniversary epic Home Truths, and the world première of 31 Hours. In-house productions include Abigail, Eyes Closed, Ears Covered and Devil With The Blue Dress.

Artistic director Chris Sonnex has said of the closure, "I'm incredibly proud of what The Bunker has achieved in such a small time and the achievements of the community of artists, producers and theatre professionals who have graced the underground theatre. This is why it is not with sadness that we announce our closure, but with pride. We had much more to do, but redevelopment means that we have to cut short our mission: to make a different kind of theatre, a theatre of inclusivity, transparency and kindness without losing any of our revolutionary soul.

"This may be the end for The Bunker in London Bridge, but it will be the place that launched careers, that supported people, that solidified crafts and provided incredible shows for audiences, whether you were a seasoned theatregoer / maker or had never made / been to the theatre before. You won’t get to experience The Bunker after early 2020, but I guarantee that you will see the theatrical ripples of what our community of artists, staff and audiences did for years to come."

Prior to closure, the programme includes The Process which presents a malevolent alternative present swept up in the rise of alt-right politics (in spoken English and BSL) and The Girl With Glitter in her Eye, a collaboration of female and LGBTQIA+ artists, telling a story of a friendship and trauma.