You can’t miss the Streatham Space Project. Its gold roof glistens in the sunshine and the large bar windows tempt you in off the street. On their website a huge seagull head protrudes from the top of the building, daring you to enter. Once you do, you won't be disappointed. A new, purpose built mixed arts venue, the Space project has something to offer everyone, from theatre to music, to comedy and film. Executive Director Lucy Knight gave me a tour and chatted about what you can expect to discover if you wander south of the river.
Open and passionate about the arts, Lucy and her colleagues have worked hard to create a unique venue specifically for Streatham and South London. The Space Project opened in June and is run as a charity, which means the money made is fed back in to the running of the business. This ethos spills over in to the general atmosphere, everything feels like it has a personal touch. You get the sense that the staff care about what they are creating and are keen to share it with as many as possible. Ticket prices are kept reasonably low, in order to be fair to both audience and artist. This in itself is enticing, given the soaring cost of some venues.
Lucy is keen to emphasize that the space is "not just for theatre....it is energetic, playful and somewhere for people to try something new". This commitment has been proven since the opening earlier this summer, which has seen everything from Edinburgh fringe comedy previews, to music from new and upcoming voices, to Stardust - a theatrical journey highlighting the human cost of the cocaine industry. Recently, Kate Tempest performed in the theatre space and an extra show was added due to phenomenal demand. It was fair to say she was utterly engrossing and the venue made an incredibly personal performance feel even more intimate.
Lucy and her colleagues also seem to understand the importance of a venue's individual identity and its place within the local community. They crowd funded (with the money matched by the council) and had input in to the design and furnishing of the space. Lucy told me that where possible, they would always try and work with local businesses, so there is a genuine dedication to the area. This community ethos bleeds through in to the building; the bar walls are currently adorned with a local artist (Tyrone Dean's) striking artwork and the smaller studio space hosts weekly yoga sessions. They are also more than happy to hear from people interested in hiring the venue. Relaxed and accessible, in a way that more traditional venues often aren't, you can pop by after 6pm Tuesday to Saturday for a drink in the bar and perhaps even try some beers from local brewery Inkspot
Other areas of London are well known for the unique venues they offer, places such as Brixton Academy, the Kiln and Battersea Arts Centre are always big draws. So whilst the Streatham Space Project is the new kid on the block, it has plenty to offer. Check out the upcoming shows for sale and as Lucy succinctly puts it, just "come and take a punt".
Visit - Streatham Space Project, Sternhold Avenue, London SW2 4PA
Book tickets online - www.streathamspaceproject.co.uk