Savvy Talawa at Fairfield Halls

Published: 28 July 2019
Reporter: Sandra Giorgetti

Fairfield Halls, the Cloister (MICA Visual)
Fairfield Halls, the West Elevation (MICA Visual)

Multi space venue Fairfield Halls reopens in September under the management of BH Live with a wide-ranging programme of events.

Following Croydon Council's £5.2bn regeneration project, the new-look Halls will be central to the area's cultural quarter and will be one of the largest arts centres in the country.

The venue's first theatre companies in residence are to be Talawa and Savvy Theatre Company.

Black-led touring theatre company Talawa will have a 200-seat studio and offices from which the company will also train young black artists in technical and creative theatre disciplines.

Croydon-based Savvy Theatre Company will have a studio space and offices and, as part of its residency, it will deliver weekly classes and performances and assist BH Live with accessibility and the community arts programme.

The resident orchestra is the London Mozart Players.

The building, which was first opened in 1962, has been extensively redeveloped. The main auditoria are the 809-seat Ashcroft Playhouse, the 750-capacity standing live music venue The Recreational and the 1,802-seat Phoenix Concert Hall, but performances will take place in a number of other spaces including community hub the Arnhem Foyer, the Savvy Studio, the Talawa Studio and the John Whitgift Community Cube.

Coming up in the Ashcroft Playhouse are musicals Whitney—Queen of the Night, Once, New Jersey Nights and Angela’s Ashes—The Musical and plays The Lady Vanishes, An Evening of Eric and Ern and Absurd Person Singular.

Dear Zoo, Peppa Pig’s Best Day Ever, Justin Live and Tabby McTat are part of the Halls' programme for family entertainment.

Cinderella will run from 10 December and the London Mozart Players will play the score live to the film of The Snowman as part of the festive programme.

Comedy events include An Evening with Lenny Henry, Alexander Armstrong: All Mouth and Some Trousers, Rob Beckett: Wallop, Russell Kane: The Fast and the Curious, Sandi Toksvig Live! National Trevor, Rhod Gilbert: The Book of John and Jimmy Carr: Terribly Funny.

Dance Umbrella’s Fairfield Takeover is one of the dance highlights which include Anton & Erin's Dance Those Magical Feet and Agudo Dance Company's Silk Road.

Amongst the music events are the Elvis Tribute Artist World Tour, Alexander O’Neal, Ruby Turner and George Hinchcliffe’s Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain.

Concerts from Omar, Republica and Croydon Rocks 2019 will take place in The Recreational.

Chamber orchestra The London Mozart Players celebrates its 70th birthday and its 30th year as Croydon’s resident orchestra with a programme that includes a new commission from BBC Young Composer of the Year 2012, Alex Woolf. The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, The English Chamber Orchestra and the BBC Symphony Orchestra will also give concerts.

In addition to exhibitions in the Arnhem Foyer, there are free lunchtime talks with Janet Street Porter, Max Hastings, Jenni Murray and John Humphreys hosted by Iain Dale.