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 Jackson's 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, for Reading's Year of Culture, we explored the history of Reading Football Club with a show set inside the home dressing room of the Madejski Stadium called 'The Final Whistle', and also made the large-scale 'The Great British Bump Off' at The Hexagon, which brought together Agatha Christie and The Great British Bake off (Miss Marple meets Mary Berry!) for a comedy / drama wit support from Warings Bakery. In the Autumn of 2017, in collaboration with the University of Reading & the Barbados & Friends Association (BAFA), South Street and Benedict Sandiford produced 'Being Gordon Greenidge', celebrating one of the greatest cricketers of all time, his connection to Reading and the Barbados community he came from.
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 Madejski Stadium Home Changing Room, The Abbey School (ladies toilets!), Malmaison Hotel, Lok'n'Store, a Cricket Pavilion, parked cars, a camper van, Prospect Park woods, Jacksons Stores, Broad Street, a garage, a cellar, a park and a pub. In 2017 it won the inaugural Reading Culture Award for "Cultural Space of the Year". More info about shows coming up is here.
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 charity Real Time Video, who run their acclaimed programme from the venue; Real Time deliver participatory workshops with a wide range of hard to reach groups around Reading and internationally. Young People with Dementia (YPWD) charity run a weekly choir for dementia sufferers 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, Dante or Die, Cartoon de Salvo, Victoria Melody, Laura Mugridge, Toot, Tom Adams, Greg Wohead, Shams, Periplum, FanSHEN, The Plasticine Men, Stillpoint Theatre, Filament Theatre, Wonder, Limbik Theatre, & Beady Eye.