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South Street Arts Centre
South Street is an arts centre in the heart of Reading presenting a diverse range of performing arts from both the professional and community sectors, programmed by Arts Co-ordinator John Luther. The professional programme attracts the very best new and established names in fringe theatre, comedy, music and live literature.
South Street is home to award winning theatre company RedCape Theatre (Fringe First & Total Theatre Award winners for 'The Idiot Colony'), as well as associate artists Unfinished Business who made the acclaimed shows 'It's Like He's Knocking' & 'Only Wolves & Lions' with our support.
In 2011 South Street produced ‘Labour Exchange’ with Heritage Lottery Funding, a theatre show that promenaded through the venue exploring the building’s history. We followed that in 2013 by making ‘Jacksons Corner’, in collaboration with local theatre makers Benedict Sandiford & Cassie Friend, which paid homage to the closing Jacksons Stores with an immersive, intimate promenade show in the shop. The same team then made 'Kaspar', set in a yurt inside South Street, which played to a week of sold out audiences.
Since 2012 South Street has been promoting a strand of work under the title SITELINES, which places work in unusual spaces. “Venues” that have hosted work to date include The Abbey School (ladies toilets!), Malmaison Hotel, parked cars, a camper van, Prospect Park woods, Jacksons Stores, Broad Street, a garage, a cellar and a pub.
We are also proud to run South Street Youth Theatre, who meet, rehearse and perform with us, and host resident poet AF Harrold's monthly Poet's Cafe.
South Street is also home to local arts charities CultureMix Arts & Real Time Video, who run their acclaimed programmes from the venue; CultureMix running Reading All Steel Percussion Orchestra (RASPO) weekly rehearsals and summer projects, and Real Time delivering participatory workshops with hard to reach groups. Young People with Dementia (YPWD) charity also run a weekly choir for dementia sufferes and their carers
Over recent years we have worked with many of the UK’s most exciting theatre companies, supporting them in developing new shows for national touring including Little Bulb, Inspector Sands, Cartoon de Salvo, Victoria Melody, Laura Mugridge, Dante or Die, Tom Adams, Shams, Periplum, FanSHEN, The Plasticine Men, Stillpoint Theatre, Filament Theatre, Wonder, Limbik Theatre, & Beady Eye.
South Street is also a founding member and on the streering group for the Arts Council funded touring consortium HOUSE (www.housetheatre.org)
Our acclaimed music programme has welcomed the likes of Mumford & Sons, Nils Frahm, King Creosote, John Grant (with The Czars), James Yorkston, Lau, Spiers & Boden, Yat-Kha, Emmy the Great, Alasdair Roberts, Winged Victory for the Sullen, Nina Nastasia, Julian Cope, Tunng, The Handsome Family and many more. We are proud to present an annual one-day festival, DOUBLEDOTBASH!, with local artists collective doubledotdash!?, which has grown to be a much loved part of the Reading music calendar.
The venue has also been a well-trodden path to fame for many comedians including Daniel Kitson, Eddie Izard, Sarah Millican, Flight of the Conchords, Stewart Lee, Sue Perkins, Jimmy Carr, Michael McIntyre, Reginald D Hunter, Lee Mack, Linda Smith, Jeremy Hardy, Susan Calman and many more.