New partnership to take over Kenneth More Theatre under exciting plans to transform Ilford town centre

Published: 12 August 2019

Redbridge Council’s partner organisation Vision RCL will officially manage the Kenneth More Theatre from this autumn.

Vision will be managing the Theatre and Redbridge Drama Centre on behalf of the council and plans are already afoot to roll out an exciting programme of events, including a traditional Christmas Pantomime.

The theatre will continue to operate as before, putting on new shows, as well as reimagining older ones. Local community groups will also be given access to the space to create bold new projects, which could include drama lessons for local children.

The proposals will coincide with and complement the council’s transformation of Ilford town centre, which is being kickstarted by three major projects in and around the Town Hall in 2019.  

Collectively known as Spark Ilford, these projects include a community food market run by Mercarto Metropolitano, a buzzing arts hub and gallery from SPACE and artist studios and affordable workspaces delivered by Things Made Public. The Spark, along with the Kenneth More Theatre, Redbridge Central Library and Museum, will create a vibrant cultural hub in the heart of Ilford.

In addition, a vibrant new open air street market is set to open on Ilford High Road from spring 2020.  

Work is also underway to deliver the council’s longer-term masterplan for the town centre, through a coordinated programme over the coming years and to include a modern theatre, a brand-new leisure complex, incorporating a swimming pool, and a state-of-the-art library.

Leader of the Council Cllr Jas Athwal said: “Our local theatre is a hugely important part of Ilford and I’ve always been committed to keeping it up and running. This partnership means local people can continue to enjoy seeing West End standard shows right on their doorstep.

“I’m really pleased that Ilford will be a place where people can come to enjoy a night out at the theatre, dinner with friends and experience a buzzing social atmosphere with all the amenities of a modern, vibrant town centre.”

The Kenneth More Theatre’s current range of programmes delivered by Redbridge Theatre Company continued until the end of July, with their final performance ‘A Night to Remember’ on Sunday 25 August 2019. The new offering being developed by Vision will be available from September 2019, and will include more details on this year’s pantomime.

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