No venue represents London's overflowing creativity better than Battersea Arts Centre. Located on Lavender Hill in south-west London, the Battersea Arts Centre has long been a pillar of its local community. This independent arts centre often works with local artists and specializes in producing innovative theatre. Find Battersea Arts Centre tickets here at TickX.
Housed in Battersea's beautiful old Town Hall, Battersea Arts cultivates creation, explores local heritage and puts on exemplary shows almost every day. Visitors can even pop along to watch scratch performances - early versions of shows in progress - and give their feedback.
The Battersea Arts Centre's main space is its 600-seater Grand Hall. Originally a Victorian ballroom and featuring a stained glass domed ceiling entryway, this Grade II* listed space is a unique place to catch any performance.
The BAC also hosts events in some of its other fantastic rooms. These include the 200-capacity Council Chamber, the airy first floor Members’ Library, and the inner Courtyard. The Courtyard hosts outdoor theatre performances during the summer.
Before or after performances, showgoers can relax at the BAC's award-winning Scratch Bar. Boasting quirky furniture and a traditional fire, the Scratch Bar serves up excellent homemade food. Drinks include craft beer, wine and cocktails. The bar recently won the Best Theatre Bar in SW London award three years in a row.
Battersea Arts Centre is popular both with punters and the local community. BAC sees over 100,000 people a year enter through its doors. The venue also works with over 400 artists and 5000 local young people annually to help them keep on creating.
A shining example of how to test the boundaries of what art can do, Battersea Arts Centre is the place to go for a fantastic cultural experience. Pick up tickets for Battersea Arts Centre events right here at TickX.
The Battersea Arts Centre started life way back in 1893 as Battersea’s new Town Hall, which was designed by architect E.W. Mountford. In the 120 years since, the theatre made of Surrey red brick and Bath stone has had a rich history as a site of famous speeches, radical politics and provocative performances.
The Town Hall has long been associated with left-wing politics as it played host to meetings presided over by suffragettes Christabel and Emmeline Pankhurst, witnessed the appointment of London’s first black Mayor and held the first council to commission a council housing estate.
The building was threatened with demolition in 1965 as the council planned to replace it with a library and swimming pool. However, thanks to a local campaign the Town Hall was spared and given a Grade II listing in 1970.
Threatened with closure again, the Town Hall became an independent arts centre and founded its theatre in 1980. Since then it has been a pioneering force in contemporary British theatre with its ”˜Scratch’ events, presenting shows midway through their development in order to gain audience feedback.
Tragically the Battersea Arts Centre’s Grand Hall was totally destroyed by fire in March 2015 while the theatre was being heavily renovated. Although that loss heavily hit the BAC’s income, the BAC has continued with its programme, epitomizing strength in the face of adversity and its commitment to the arts.
### Stages & Spaces
The BAC’s main space is its 600-seater Grand Hall, which can reach a capacity of 800 for a concert. Originally a Victorian ballroom and boasting a stained-glass domed ceiling entryway in the adjoining Octagonal Hall, this Grade II listed space will re-open in September 2018 after a multi-million pound refurbishment. The new Grand Hall will feature improved infrastructure, which the BAC hopes will enable it to stage even more ambitious events than before.
While the Grand Hall is not being used, the BAC hosts events in some of the building’s other fantastic rooms. These include the 200-capacity Council Chamber, the airy first floor Members’ Library, and the inner Courtyard, which is used for outdoor theatre performances during the summer.
### Where is it and how do I get there?
The Battersea Arts Centre is located on Lavender Hill, a short walk from the Clapham Junction train station. The BAC’s location means it is extremely easy to get to, no matter which form of transport you choose to use.
Train: As mentioned, the nearest train station to Battersea Arts Centre is Clapham Junction, which is a less than ten minute walk from the venue. Waterloo and Victoria stations offer direct services to the station, and you can also get the Overground there from East London.
Tube: The closest Tube stations to Battersea Arts Centre are Clapham Common and Stockwell, both of which are around a 15-20 minute bus ride away.
Bus: The 345, 77, 87 and 156 buses stop outside Battersea Arts Centre on Lavenderhill. You can also get the night buses N77 and N345, or a bus to Clapham Junction.
Bike: There are bike racks in front of the Battersea Arts Centre building.
Parking: The Battersea Arts Centre does not currently offer parking, and most roads around the theatre are restricted between 8am and 6.30pm, Monday to Saturday. The nearest disabled parking space is at the nearby Asda.
### Where to stay
One of the advantages of catching a show at a theatre in London is that there will be no shortage of places for you to stay, and there are plenty of hotels on Lavender Hill. Just minutes away from the Battersea Arts Centre is the Travelodge, followed by the Crown B&B and the Premier Inn.
If you’re looking for more flexibility when it comes to finding somewhere to stay overnight, you can always try Airbnb, where prices are often lower than regular hotels.
### Where to eat
If you’re looking for somewhere to eat before your show, never fear – The Battersea Arts Centre won’t have you travelling far. The Battersea Arts Centre boasts its own award-winning café/bar, the Scratch Bar, which is open from 10am – 11pm every Monday to Saturday.
Boasting quirky furniture and a wood-burning fire, the Scratch Bar serves up excellent homemade food with a range of craft beers, wine and homemade cocktails. The bar serves hot food between 12.30pm – 3.30pm and 6pm – 9.30pm, and has been highly acclaimed – it won the Best Theatre Bar in SW London award three years in a row.
The Battersea Arts Centre is passionate about making its performances accessible for everyone, and has a great set of policies to help it do just that.
Offering concession tickets for disabled people and free tickets for companions, Battersea Arts Centre regularly presents BSL interpreted, captioned and audio described performances. It also welcomes service dogs and hosts ”˜relaxed’ performances, which allow people to move and make noise during the performance should they need to do so.
Battersea Arts Centre highlights upcoming accessible performances of all of its productions on its website.