The Cockpit Theatre is a fringe theatre in Marylebone, London. Designed by Edward Mendelsohn and built in 1969-70 by the Inner London Education Authority (ILEA) as a community theatre, it is notable as London’s first purpose-built Theatre in the round since the Great Fire of London.
When ILEA was disbanded in 1990, ownership of the Cockpit was transferred to the London Borough of Westminster, who made it part of the newly renamed City of Westminster College.
It remains one of a handful of purpose-built theatre training venues in the capital and is still owned and operated by the City Of Westminster College.
Between 1993 and 1995 the Soho Theatre Company took up residence and relaunched itself after a period of homelessness. During this period they premiered the works of over 35 new writers.
In January 2011, owners City of Westminster College moved into their new main building at Paddington Green which included a new theatre.
This change meant The Cockpit is no longer used for day-to-day teaching or academic office space and is now operating as full-time theatre and training venue.
From the outside it is obvious the Cockpit Theatre was built in the 70s, as it has the same sort of concrete modernist design that makes many deem the Barbican an eyesore.
Since opening, the Theatre has changed hands several times, from the Inner London Education Authority who used it as a community centre to the City of Westminster College, who would host lectures and student performances here.
After moving premises the college built a new venue for its students, and the Cockpit became a full time theatre. In terms of performances, the Cockpit has a bit of everything; comedy, drama, jazz performances, musicals, Shakespeare, classical music… the list goes on. There’s an educational aspect too in the form of acting and dance classes and literary workshops, additionally the theatre runs courses in technical areas like rigging and pyrotechnics.
The theatre has a capacity for 240 people and is available for private hire.
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- Address: Gateforth Street, London NW8 8EH, United Kingdom
- Phone: 020 7258 2925
- Website: http://www.thecockpit.org.uk/
- Email: email@example.com
- Get there by bus: 6, 16, 18, 98, 139, 189, 332, 414.
- Get there by tube/train: Marylebone
- Wheelchair access: Yes
- Additional information: Access via back entrance
- Monday 10:30 am – 6:00 pm
- Tuesday 10:30 am – 6:00 pm
- Wednesday 10:30 am – 6:00 pm
- Thursday 10:30 am – 6:00 pm
- Friday 10:30 am – 6:00 pm
- Saturday 12-6pm
- Sunday Closed