Ovalhouse is a lively theatre and arts centre based on the Kennington Oval right opposite the famous cricket ground. We provide a warm welcome to our audience members, practitioners, patrons and workshop members.
We're open Monday – Saturday, with performances in our two theatres on Tuesday- Saturday. During the weekdays the spaces are open for rehearsals and hires from 10am. Our youth classes operate Monday – Saturday during term times.
“a founding father of today's fringe theatre” (The Guardian)
For the past 50 years Ovalhouse has been a home to experimental, radical and overlooked artists seeking to make theatre and performance that speaks to a world beyond the mainstream.
We have been a hotbed of artistic activism and fomented revolutionary thought, and in the five decades since we began, Ovalhouse has seen the social and artistic ideals it has aspired to become widely accepted as the model for a better society. We have sheltered social and political movements staffed by the stage and screen stars of the future, pursued an unerring agenda for positive artistic, political and social change and, once, stabled a donkey in the Theatre Upstairs. Ovalhouse stands on a proud history and continues to be a vital home for boundary-pushing art and artists with an eye on the future.
The roots of Ovalhouse can be traced back to the 1930s and its foundations, as Christ Church (Oxford) Clubs, by the graduates of Christchurch College, Oxford. The young people from disadvantaged areas in South London were able to use the space for sports activities and were taken on away days along with skills training which they could use for the future. Since that time Ovalhouse has pioneered enabling forms of education and artistic endeavour.
Do you have an Ovalhouse anecdote or memory to share? Post it on our Oval Fifty page.
The Road to Brixton! Ovalhouse on the move…
Our building on Kennington Oval is steeped in history and resonates with the lives and stories of so many people. But we are planning to leave it, click here to find out more.
Ovalhouse celebrates 50 years: further links
A Younger Theatre