Hope Theatre to reopen in June with premiere of new play

Last Updated on 25 May 2021 by Showcall Editorial Team

The Boy with the Bee Jar by John Straiton is due to be the first production at London’s Hope Theatre when it reopens at the end of June

Hope Theatre London

The Hope Theatre in north London has announced its first shows as it prepares to reopen at the end of June at full capacity.

The 50-seat pub theatre, which has been closed since March last year but producing online, plans to reopen on 29 June with the premiere of The Boy with the Bee Jar by John Straiton, which was longlisted for the 2019 Bruntwood Prize.

Directed by Philip Wilson, the show will run to 17 July. With indoor Covid restrictions due to be eased on 21 June, the production will go ahead at full audience capacity.

Set on a north London estate, the play follows an environmentally minded schoolboy who is drawn to a swarm of bees. He strikes up a friendship with an old punk called Euston – the sole witness to a horrific crime – and together they play out the dark goings-on of life on the estate, and of their own fears.

The Hope Theatre also intends to present an in-house production for four weeks in September, with full details to be announced.

Also playing from 29 June in the late evening slot is Hope Box from Blue Grass Theatre – a week of comedy celebrating live theatre and the artists that create it, with an exciting line-up of up-and-coming comedians, sketch artists, comedy actors and alternative acts.

The Hope Theatre will then host a series of shows encompassing sketch and stand-up comedy, drama, new writing and drag as part of the Camden Fringe during August, including Horrigan & Howell: A Sketch Too Far from 2 to 8 August, Tier Three Sisters from 9 to 15 August, Possibilities from 10 to 15 August, Four Sisters from 16 to 19 August, Olives and Blowjobs from 20 to 22 August, Asò from 16 to 22 August, Th’ Wildcat of Sheffield: Unshielded from 23 to 27 August, and Eddie Brimson: Naughty Boy from 23 to 27 August. Tickets for the Camden Fringe will go on sale from 31 May.

Kennedy Bloomer, artistic director of the theatre since January 2020, said: “We’re absolutely thrilled and grateful to be able to plan to re-open in June. The Hope hasn’t been able to open since March 2020 and although we’ve managed to create online we can’t wait to be back open to a live audience again. Freelance artists need our support now more than ever and we’re as committed as ever to our Equity house agreement and supporting paid opportunities.”

Opening in 2013, The Hope Theatre in Islington’s Upper Street was originally a sister theatre of the nearby King’s Head Theatre, renovated from a function room above the Hope & Anchor pub and music venue into a black-box studio theatre.


About Mark Ludmon 318 Articles
Mark Ludmon has been a journalist for over 20 years, specialising in theatre, hospitality and drinks after starting in regional daily newspapers. He has an MA in early modern literature and history, focusing on Elizabethan and Jacobean drama, and a theatre studies MA from Royal Central School of Speech & Drama. He is a former panellist for the Olivier Awards. He tweets at @MarkLudmon.