Pop-up theatre brings life to disused building on Shaftesbury Sq.

Pop-up theatre brings life to disused building on Shaftesbury Sq.

Shared workspace for creative industries & venue for innovative performance

Shows and workshops highlight vivid range of work and crucial need for support

Local arts companies Accidental Theatre & Amadan have taken residence in an empty landmark building – the former Northern Bank at 12-13 Shaftesbury Square – and transformed it into a hub for artists & audiences. The duo are busy creating a vast range of events, workshops, and performances that put this valuable city asset to immediate, dynamic use.

Discover the new venue via its programme of events – a delectable spread covering top-notch theatre and music, community get-togethers, late-night cabarets, family-friendly weekend shows, arts workshops. Coming up this month Amadan are staging Bedlam Bazaar, a new cabaret club night featuring all manner of entertainers, from the weirdly wonderful to the seductively strange. A week later Accidental are staging Michelle & Arlene by Rosemary Jenkinson; a new project were Accidental ask writers to write a new play very quickly to respond to what is going on around us right now.

The newly transformed building includes: a black-box theatre; gorgeous wood-floored rehearsal & meeting rooms; private & shared offices; and an intimate performance space & bar. 12-13’s one-of-a-kind Book Bar funds the charity endeavour in the most ideal way for an arts venue. The building has the feel of a converted office combined a vibrant fringe theatre. Audiences and artists are invited in to learn, create and enjoy time together at the crossroads that is Shaftesbury Square.

12-13 Shaftesbury Square is a community-driven arts theatre, connecting directly with local businesses and individuals while supporting high-quality performance and artisanship. Audiences are encouraged to get involved in the creation and planning of events: Write to info@accidentaltheatre.co.uk if you have ideas about performances or other ways we can put this building to amazing use.

Accidental Theatre has created ground-breaking performances in disused city-centre spaces since 2012, when the company began using shop units on Queen Street as office & rehearsal space. In 2015, Accidental moved to Wellington Street, beside City Hall, transforming the 4th floor of an office building into a jazz café for their show THE LOST MARTINI. They retained the stage and bar after the show and continued to run Wellington Street as a multi-purpose space for artists to work and perform. When the landlord decided to renovate and moved existing tenants out in December 2016, Accidental discovered the ideal home at 12-13 Shaftesbury Square.

This formidable space, owned by Fonacab, has been out of commercial use for nearly a decade and has been ideal for renovation as an arts hub. Accidental co-run 12-13 with Amadan, an ambitious and multi-talented company whose remit includes making work for families and young people. Both companies are dedicated to supporting fellow artists and will present workshops for emerging artists.


Michelle & Arlene by Rosemary Jenkinson

In a world that’s moving ever faster we’re running to catch up with a new project: RAPID RESPONSE. A brand new play written to respond immediately to what’s happening around us today. For the inaugural show Rosemary Jenkinson is writing a new piece about Michelle & Arlene.

Rapid response is all about writing to respond to what is happening around us, exploring issues that effect us today and not waiting around to polish a script to perfection or wait for a funding decision. These plays will be rough, intriguing, sometimes funny, sometimes difficult but always up to date.


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