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Theatre ‘under the arches’ is open to music

Waterloo East Theatre opens its doors this September to a host of live entertainment including bands and theatre productions, writes Paul Watson.

Newly renovated Waterloo East Theatre, located under the arches of Waterloo East Station in SE1, opens its doors this September to a host of live entertainment including bands, theatre productions, plays and cabaret shows. Waterloo East Theatre is the brainchild of experienced theatre producer Gerald Armin, who formed award winning theatre production company Fairbank Productions back in 1991. It will be run not-for-profit as a registered charity. Despite his theatre background, Armin is intent on bringing in a variety of live musicians and bands through the theatres doors, from acoustic acts to rock and roll and beyond. “The world’s our oyster at the moment and we don’t want to restrict anybody from performing here,” says Armin. “Perhaps because we’re in a residential area, we might steer clear from a lot of heavy metal, but even then we’re not ruling it out completely; it’s well soundproofed after all.” The FOH console is a 16 channel Soundcraft MFXi and the PA system consists of two Link Dynamic LD115a powered loudspeakers, which Armin intends to expand on in due course; microphones are Shure SM58s. Armin began project managing the theatres renovation in March 2010 and within six weeks, a complete electrical system, new floor, dressing rooms, toilets and a storage area had been created. Flexible seating can currently accommodate 125 people in the main auditorium and depending on the production, capacity could rise to 175. Now on the finishing touches, he is determined to make Waterloo East Theatre a success. “It’s my vision – and everything’s been self funded; two business partners came on board with me and between us we’ve borrowed, recycled and e-bayed!” he says. “We’ve even had the making of the theatre filmed – there’s a seven minute clip on YouTube at the moment and we’ll continue making it until we open.” Waterloo East Theatre is currently looking for a resident sound engineer; its schedule is due to be announced in August.

Check out Catherine Nicolson’s short film at,