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Charity number: 1077161

Company number: 3724349

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About us

Blue Elephant Theatre produces an eclectic programme of new work across the performing arts from physical and dance theatre to new writing and revamped classics.

Staff members

Executive Director/Co-Artistic Director Niamh de Valera
Participation Director/Co-Artistic Director (On Maternity Leave) Jo Sadler-Lovett
General Manager Jimmy Chamberlain
Deputy Theatre Manager Alice Gentle
Young People's Theatre Officer Louise Dickinson
Creative Minds Officer Jacqui Livingston
Free to Act Officer Bianca Hutton-Wood
Speak Out Officer Jen Camillin
Participation Assistants Daniella Connor & Sulaimon Idris
Technical Manager Stuart Glover
Duty Managers Emma Barnie & Kome Ovuworie
Voluntary Duty Manager Leo Scalcione
Voluntary Website Co-Ordinator Will Voelcker
Theatre Volunteers Rob Anderson, Anne Buffardi, Melanie Cunnane, Carol Field, Fitz Honger, Sarah Johnson, Sarah Ollivier, Cristiana Radulescu, Tom Hedges, Jenny Skene, Lydia Richmond, Aoife Delaney & Robert Nawrocki
Participation Volunteers Darren Spencer, Ella McCarthy & Ore Olowokere
Young People's Mentor Amari Harris

External support

Photographers Lidia Crisafulli
IT Support Integrity and Oblong Live
Patrons Joanna Lumley, Radzi Chinyanganya and Maggie Alphonsi

Board of trustees

  • Matthew Craig
  • Martine Jean-Baptiste
  • Paul Langton
  • Chris Lawrence (Chair)
  • Harry Kinsley
  • Brian Beaton
  • Maya Pindar

History

The Blue Elephant Theatre was founded in 1999 by Antonio Ribeiro and is celebrating its 21st birthday this year.

Some notable past work includes:

  • Born African by multi-racial Zimbabwean company Over the Edge. This transferred to Battersea Arts Centre as part of their Time Out Critics' Choice season
  • 'Art in the Balkans', the first pan-Balkan season of theatre, film and visual art in London
  • Jaan Tatte's The Highway Crossing, the first Estonian play to be produced in the UK
  • Othello by Lazarus Theatre Company, winner of 'Best Fringe or Regional Play' at the Broadway World UK Awards
  • The World Premiere of The Cave by Mervyn Peake, celebrated author of Gormenghast
  • The first theatrical adaptation of Fernando Pessoa's The Book of Disquiet
  • First theatrical staging of Mervyn Peake’s Noah’s Ark, his only play for children. Shortlisted for an Off West End Award in 2011 for best production for young people.
  • Ham & Passion by DeNada Dance was performed in 2015. Choreographer Carolos Pons Guerra was nominated for a Critic’s Circle National Dance Award in the category of Best Emerging Artist for this work.
  • If You Leave, by 201 dance company which later became Smother was performed at BET and following an acclaimed sell-out run at Edinburgh Fringe in 2016, it went on to tour internationally.
  • Legs by Julia Masli & the Duncan Brothers, performed at Blue Elephant in 2019 went on to win a Malcolm Hardee Award for Comic Originality at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
  • Easy by Paradox Theatre was shortlisted for an OffWestEnd award in 2019.


We have nurtured many theatre-makers early in their careers including:

  • Jerwood-nominated choreographer (2003) Fleur Darkin, who adapted and directed Christmas Carol in 2002
  • Thrice-National Dance Award nominee (2007, 2009 & 2011) Sally Marie, who performed her solo piece The Extra at the Blue Elephant in 2005
  • Associate Director at Sherman Theatre, David Mercatali, who made his directorial debut at the Blue Elephant with Paint Over in 2005 followed by Weights in 2007
  • Mamoru Iriguchi, who designed our three 'Art in the Balkans' plays in 2005 before winning the Evening Standard Best Design Award in 2009
  • Levantes Dance Theatre, who performed I was Engaged to Diego Maradona (2006) and Gin & Satsumas (2007) at the Blue Elephant before going on to win the Oxford Samuel Beckett Theatre Trust Award in 2009
  • Offwestend.com Adopt A Playwright Award-winner (2008) Paul Morris, whose 35 Cents we premiered in 2007
  • Theatre Ad Infinitum, whose debut shows Behind The Mirror & First Class we premiered in 2007 & 2008 respectively.
  • Offie Award-winning costume designer Emily Stuart (2011), who designed her first professional show Drive-Thru Nativity at the Blue Elephant in 2009
  • Theatre Temoin, whose show The Fantasist went on to sell out at the Edinburgh Fringe and tour nationally and internationally, was first performed at Blue Elephant Theatre.
  • Verbatim-led theatre company, LUNG Theatre who now tour their work nationally, had their first London run (as FYSA) at the Blue Elephant and returned in 2018 with their sell-out Edinburgh previews of Trojan Horse.
  • Renowned puppetry company Smoking Apples, whose early shows Seemingly Invisible and The Wordcatcher played at Blue Elephant.
  • On the Run, had scratch and work in progress performances of their acclaimed first show So It Goes in 2013 and returned with an Edinburgh preview in 2019. 

Please see our Past Programme section for details of past shows.

Former Artistic Director Jasmine Cullingford won the Fringe Report Best Venue Manager Award in 2009 and the Blue Elephant won the inaugural Southwark Arts Forum Award for Performing Arts in 2013.

In 2019, the Blue Elephant won five People's Choice Awards at the Offwestend.com awards, including those for best programming and most welcoming theatre.

We need your help!

Living proof that a theatre space in a far from affluent financial position need not compromise on the quality of the work it produces ayoungertheatre.com

The Blue Elephant Theatre is a minimally staffed organisation and relies on your generous support.

We now have a Friends Scheme, for those who are Mad about the Elephant! Thank you to those who have supported us so far: Joanna Lumley, Friederike Hammer, Sarah Bowmer, Andy Phipps, Jenny Skene, Carol Field, Mike Raffone, Alexis Figgis and Benedict Leong!

Please contact us here or on 02077010100 for more information about becoming our Friend!

Baby Elephant
£50/year (£4.20/month)

o 2 free tickets per year
o Donors' monthly newsletter
o Special invitations
o Thank you on our website

Jumbo Elephant
£200/year (£16.70/month)

o 2 free tickets per season
o Donors' monthly newsletter
o Special invitations
o Thank you on our website and in our programmes
o 10% discount at the bar

Mammoth Elephant
£500/year (£42/month)

o 4 free tickets per season
o Donors' monthly newsletter
o Special invitations
o Thank you on our website and in our programmes
o 10% discount at the bar

Colossal Elephant
£1000/year (£83.50/month)

o 4 free tickets per season
o Donors' monthly newsletter
o Special invitations
o Thank you on our website and in our programmes
o 10% discount at the bar
o Invitations to Press Nights
o Your own dedicated (toy) elephant in the bar

All contributions mean a great deal to us and we make every donation go far, providing a week of summer school for local disadvantaged children for approximately £1000!

If you feel you could contribute to the work of the theatre in other ways, then we want to hear from you too! You can make a one-off donation below or offer in-kind support or your time as a volunteer.

We gratefully acknowledge the support of