South Street regularly hosts acclaimed artists and companies, supporting them to develop new performance work for Reading audiences and beyond.
South Street has been home to award winning theatre company RedCape Theatre since 2007. In that time they have created, with our support, three highly acclaimed, nationally touring productions. The Idiot Colony (Fringe First & Total Theatre Awards 2008), 1 Beach Road ("A thoughtful, unsettling and beautifully conceived touring show from RedCape Theatre" Lyn Gardner, The Guardian) & Be Brave & Leave For The Unknown ("a fascinating, tender and at times intensely moving exploration of acts of personal bravery" One Giant Leap)
In 2011 South Street produced ‘Labour Exchange’, a theatre show directed by Sabina Netherclift & RedCape Theatre's Cassie Friend, that promenaded through the venue exploring the building’s history. The show was supported by a grant from Heritage Lottery Funding. We followed that in 2013 by making ‘Jacksons Corner’, in collaboration with Benedict Sandiford & Cassie Friend, which paid homage to Jacksons Stores, as it prepared for closure, with an immersive, intimate promenade show in the shop. The same team then made 'Kaspar' in 2015, set in a yurt inside South Street, which played to a week of sold out audiences. In 2016 the team will continue to tell Reading stories with two ambitious projects: 'Amelia' will see Cassie & Benedict once again collaborate to tell the grizzly story of Reading's notorious Victorian "baby farmer" Amelia Dyer (set around the scene of her crimes at Caversham Lock) and the full team are developing a larger scale theatre piece called 'The Great British Bump Off' for Reading's Year of Culture 2016, which promises to mix Agatha Christie with The Great British Bake off (Miss Marple meets Mary Berry!).
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, a park and a pub.
Local poet and author A.F. Harrold runs Reading's longest running poetry platform Poets' Cafe at South Street on the third Friday of every month. The intimate event sees a guest poet read every month alongside an "open mic" for local poets to read in a supportive atmosphere. He also presents his "Lovely Cabaret" event once a year which brings the very best performance poets, leftfield comedians and cabaret acts to our stage.
South Street is also home to local independant arts charities CultureMix Arts & Real Time Video, who run their acclaimed programmes from the venue; CultureMix run Reading All Steel Percussion Orchestra's (RASPO) weekly rehearsals and summer projects, and Real Time deliver participatory workshops with a wide range of 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, Toot, Tom Adams, Greg Wohead, Shams, Periplum, FanSHEN, The Plasticine Men, Stillpoint Theatre, Filament Theatre, Wonder, Limbik Theatre, & Beady Eye.