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The Pleasance Theatre Islington

has been one of the most exciting fringe theatres in London since it opened its doors in 1995, providing a launch pad for some of the most memorable productions and renowned practitioners of the past decade and staying true to its mission of providing a platform for the talent of the future. This coming spring season we are proud to present some of the most exciting theatre companies on the fringe. We look forward to welcoming you. For over 30 years the Pleasance has provided a platform and launch pad for a great many artists at both the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and at Pleasance London.

The Pleasance has also supported a great many individuals in associated creative, administrative and technical roles. We call this wealth of experience and support Pleasance Futures. Pleasance Futures offers a variety of initiatives for an array of individuals both on and off stage. From carpenters, crew and electricians to photographers, reviewers, bloggers and film-makers, the Pleasance recognises how important those first opportunities into the creative industries can be.

Find out more at

The Urdang Academy 3rd Year Company presents

The Drowsy Chaperone

Legally Blonde

1st & 2nd Feb

2:30 pm & 7:30 pm

£17.50 (£12 Concession)

6th - 8th Feb 2:30 pm & 7:30 pm £17.50 (£12 Concession)

The musical is based on the novel Legally Blonde by Amanda Brown and the 2001 film of the same name. It tells the story of Elle Woods, a sorority girl who enrolls at Harvard Law School to win back her ex-boyfriend Warner.

The story concerns a middle-aged, asocial musical theatre fan; as he plays the record of his favourite musical, the (fictional) 1928 hit The Drowsy Chaperone, the show comes to life onstage as he wryly comments on the music, story, and actors.


The Pajama Game

12th & 13th Feb 2:30 pm & 7:30 pm £17.50 (£12 Concession)

17th - 19th Feb 2:30 pm & 7:30 pm £17.50 (£12 Concession)

The story of a group dealing with love, loss, AIDS, and modern day life in one truly powerful story. Based on Puccini’s La Boheme, Rent tells the story of one year in the life of friends living the Bohemian life in modern day East Village, New York City, 1989-1990.

The Pajama Game is a lively musical based on the novel 7½ Cents by Richard Bissell. The story deals with labour troubles in a pajama factory, where workers demands for a seven-and-a-half cent raise are going unheeded.

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£1 transaction fee per ticket on telephone and online bookings, capped at £5

Pleasance Futures & The Charlie Hartill Special Reserve Fund presents

The Theatre Reserve Try-Outs 2017

20th & 21st Feb 7:00 pm


Come join us as several of the best emerging theatre companies showcase 10 minutes of their new work for the chance to receive the Charlie Hartill Special Reserve Fund for Theatre 2017. Each year the Special Reserve Fund provides a young theatre company with the rare and extraordinary support of £10,000 to present a groundbreaking performance of a fully produced play at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. This is a fantastic opportunity for a team to be creative, innovative, imaginative and entrepreneurial in a big and exciting way. The Charlie Fund for Theatre has previously supported an array of hugely successful Edinburgh productions including the sell-out run 020 7609 1800

of We Are Ian in 2016 which was awarded the Brighton Fringe Award for Excellence and is now off on a UK wide tour. In 2015 the fund supported Squint Theatre’s Molly. Squint have recently been awarded the Kevin Spacey fund for their latest production, Fear and Loathing. In 2014, sold-out show Lorraine and Alan was also awarded the Brighton Fringe Award for Excellence. If you’re a company interested in applying you can find more information about the fund and how to apply on our website. Applications close on the 8th February.

£1 transaction fee per ticket on telephone and online bookings, capped at £5

A Studio Season: A Royal Central School of Speech and Drama production in association with Complicite Creative Learning Three new works devised by graduating students of the Acting Collaborative and Devised Theatre course at Central, and directed by three Complicite Associates – directors who have worked with the company at key moments in its celebrated and diverse history.

Maktub 25th & 26th Feb & 1st - 5th Mar 2:00 pm, 7:30 pm & 8:30 pm £12 (£10 Concession)

Marcello Magni, Complicite’s co-founder, directs Maktub. Inspired by an ancient Persian tale, Maktub is the story of young shepherd who pursues a dream that takes him on an epic journey across a war-torn desert.

War & War

26th & 28th Feb & 1st - 5th Mar “Top marks go to students from Central who, together with the input of a number of Complicite stalwarts, including director Catherine Alexander, have put together a compelling devised show.” Dominic Cavendish, Daily Telegraph on The Boy from Centreville

2:00 pm, 4:45 pm & 7:30 pm £12 (£10 Concession)

Kirsty Housley, co-director of The Encounter, creates a piece inspired by Laszlo Krasznahorkai’s War & War, telling the story of Korin, an archivist on an escape mission from 1990’s Hungary.

Tomorrow I’ll be Twenty 26th & 28th Feb & 2nd - 5th Mar 2:00 pm, 4:45 pm & 7:30 pm £12 (£10 Concession)

Catherine Alexander, who joined the company in 1994, adapts Alain Mabanckou’s Tomorrow I’ll Be Twenty: ten year old Michel’s exuberant eye witness account of growing up in 1970’s Pointe Noire, Congo.

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★★★★★-“A dynamic, energetic and overall marvellous showcase of talent” Broadway Baby

Time Out Critics’ Choice Tickets £5.00 Dates 6TH FEBRUARY 6TH mARCH 11th April 9th May

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0207 609 1800 Check website for line-ups

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Wildheart & Lyric presents

Wolf Meat

27th Feb - 1st Mar 7:45 pm £8 (£6 Concession) Grandma is the undisputed drugs queen of Croydon, but Detective Dawn Taylor will go to any lengths to bring her dirty dealing family to justice. Wildheart & Lyric bring their absurdist humour and compelling storytelling to an irreverent world of dirty deals and mistaken identity.

★★★★ “Irreverent, silly, naughty and daring, this production is not for the faint-hearted or easily offended.” Fringe Guru

Wolf Meat subverts well known characters and turns morals on their heads in this dark, sexy, raucous hour of theatrical anarchy. The play is continually deconstructed as the actors drop in and out of character and plot, and take audience interaction to a jaw dropping new level.

“Meta-deconstructive-fourth-wall-breaching-orgiastic fun, this was a seriously funny, tightly written and brilliantly acted hour of Fringe perfection.” Pink Fringe

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Pipeline Theatre presents


7th - 19th Mar 7:30 pm & 5:00 pm £12 (£10 Concession) It’s the ‘70s. Sally likes Debbie Harry, Raymond likes making robots; they’re an unlikely pair. Flash forward to 2030. After a long, childless and sometimes bumpy marriage, Sally has Alzheimer’s. Before Raymond died he created a robot, uploaded with his memories, to keep her company. It’s the ultimate love letter from beyond the grave: an endlessly patient memory-jogger and singing partner, giving order to her confusion, and becoming a new partner in the oddest of odd-couple romances. But as Sally’s mind fades, will the robot be more of a comfort or a threat? 020 7609 1800

Spillikin will make you laugh, cry, and ponder big questions of love, death, and technology. Prepare to have your heart broken by this five star sell-out Edinburgh show from Pipeline Theatre featuring a state-of-the-art robot as a full cast member. Afterwards there’s a Q&A session: meet the company, and get up close and personal with the robot, who can even answer your questions himself.

£1 transaction fee per ticket on telephone and online bookings, capped at £5

★★★★★ “This is a perfectly constructed and superbly acted play that sheds much light on both the difficulties of young love and the frustration of illness and diminution of mental powers in old age.” British Theatre Guide ★★★★ “Pipeline Theatre have taken sci-fi theatre to a bold new level” Scotsman ★★★★ “A unique and intriguing production“ Guardian 020 7609 1800

£1 transaction fee per ticket on telephone and online bookings, capped at £5

Etch presents


7th - 11th Mar 7:45pm & 4:00 pm £10 (£8 Concession) And it’s like there’s a box, there’s a voice which tempts me to unlock a tap tap tapping question... Through live music and a unique voice, Pandora explores the domestic and the epic, the personal and the mythological and what happens when the darkest parts of yourself start to shine. Pandora is a story about the power and fragility of hope. By Grace Chilton and Paksie Vernon Directed by Debbie Hannan

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£1 transaction fee per ticket on telephone and online bookings, capped at £5

Wildcard presents

After Party 14th - 26th Mar 7:45 pm & 5:30 pm £13 (£11 Concession) Last night Bethany’s birthday party raised the roof, shook the ground and caused Allan to miss his coach home. As Harlan and Bethany continue the antics through the next day, tensions tighten when an old friend comes to visit. Following a sell out premiere at the Union Theatre, After Party comes to the Pleasance from 14th to 26th March. This play challenges our moral obligation, questions loyalty and assesses the importance of love in the world we live in. “Because let’s face it, if we’re the future of the human race... Then we’re all fucked. Love is the only thing that will keep this world from crashing and burning.”

★★★★★ “Modern and raw” London Theatre 1

Wildcard voices untold stories to shine a light on the absurdity of the world we live in. This show contains adult themes.

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£1 transaction fee per ticket on telephone and online bookings, capped at £5

Pleasance presents

A Pleasance Scratch

A Pleasance Scratch is an evening of variety, ideas and fun; a chance to see artists present brave, new work at the first stages of development.

13th Mar & 19th Jun 7:30 pm £6.50

The Pleasance is proud to support a large number of developing artists every year through our various Pleasance Futures initiatives, and this is an opportunity for you to have the first glimpse at what these talented young theatre makers are creating next. Programme to be announced...

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£1 transaction fee per ticket on telephone and online bookings, capped at £5

London Student Drama Festival presents


20th Mar 7:00 pm

£7 (£5 Concession)

The final of the 5th London Student Drama Festival, bringing together the best of student-driven new writing from across the London universities. Judged by a panel of industry experts, the winners of the semi-finals will perform one last time. The festival offers a platform for new writing so that it can be produced in an exciting environment and watched by an eager audience. With a variety of shows, from comedy to dark drama, and a brand new series of workshops surrounding the festival, anything could happen at the 2017 London Student Drama Festival! “I am inspired by the rich potential of this Festival” Simon Stevens “The LSDF successfully managed to reveal incredible student potential” Grace Fearon, Independent

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Sparkle and Dark presents

I am Beast

22nd - 26th Mar 7:30 pm & 5:00 pm £12 (£10 Concession) What happens when the wildest parts of our imagination take control? After the death of her mother, Ellie escapes into her own fantasy world of comic book superheroes and bewitching strangers, recreating herself as the ultimate vigilante. Running amidst dark alleyways and sinister villains, she soon meets the wild and mysterious Beast and together they seek revenge.

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★★★★ “A dazzling theatrical spectacle... The visual style is beautifully realised. A first-class theatrical experience. A triumph.” Fringe Guru

But as the walls of her new world begin to crumble, Ellie must finally face the truth behind her fantasies. Following on from the acclaimed success of Killing Roger, Sparkle and Dark return with I am Beast, an award-winning, visually stunning exploration of the power of grief and childish imagination. Sparkle and Dark is a leading British puppetry company, using unique life-sized puppetry.

£1 transaction fee per ticket on telephone and online bookings, capped at £5




Are you aged 16-21 and interested in being involved in a production at the biggest arts festival in the world?



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P • Y

P • Y

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Join the Young Pleasance. The Pleasance is auditioning for members to join their award-winning young theatre company as performers or in production roles for the 2017 Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Find out more or email

Can’t Think Theatre Company presents


29th Mar - 22nd Apr 2:00 pm, 2:30 pm & 7:30 pm £20 (£17.50 Concession)

In the private dining room of a gastro pub in Oxford, ten young bloods with cut-glass vowels and deep pockets are meeting, intent on restoring their right to rule. As members of an elite student dining society, they’re bunkering down for a wild night of debauchery, decadence and bloody good wine. As the evening progresses and the booze flows, tempers fray and things get disastrously out of hand. Darkly comic, and disgracefully entertaining, Posh, for the first time ever, will be told by a company of all-female actors.

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Through the eyes of androgyny, this production revives Laura Wade’s work, giving it a new, topical voice, while proving just how strong women are. However, this isn’t just a jolly: they’re planning a revolution. Welcome to the Riot Club. Directed by multi-Off West End Award winner Cressida Carré.

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A play by Laura Wade Director Cressida Carré won the Off West End Awards for Best Choreography and Best Production for Titanic (Southwark Playhouse). Other work includes, Avenue Q (UK and Hong Kong tours) and The Lost Christmas (Trafalgar Studios).

£1 transaction fee per ticket on telephone and online bookings, capped at £5

Pleasance Futures & The Charlie Hartill Special Reserve Fund presents

The Comedy Reserve Try-Outs 2017

3rd & 4th Apr 7:45 pm


Now in its 13th fantastic year, the Pleasance Comedy Reserve - as part of the Charlie Hartill Special Reserve Fund - showcases the absolute best in brand new comedy talent.

From all the applications, we will put together a truly exceptional shortlist of superb new acts, who will be taking to the stage over two consecutive nights with their best seven minutes of material.

Each year we hand-pick the most exciting and original up-and-coming comedians to take with us to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

And as well as performing in front of a panel of judges from the Pleasance, they will also be competing for your vote! So come along, vote for your favourites and have your say in who we take with us to the Fringe this summer. MC John Hastings.

They’ll perform alongside each other in a prime-time slot at the Pleasance throughout August, in a show that has, in past years, helped launch the careers of Jack Whitehall, Simon Brodkin, Roisin Conaty, Daniel Rigby and Holly Walsh. (Plus a whole load more!)

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Tickets are only £5.00 each, or you can book both nights together - and see all the shortlisted acts for just £8.00.

£1 transaction fee per ticket on telephone and online bookings, capped at £5

Changing Face presents

It Is So Ordered

5th - 16th Apr

7:45 pm & 5:30 pm £12 (£10 Concession) “A society should not be judged on how it treats its best, but how it treats it’s lowest.” More than half a century after the Harlem Race Riots, officers put in place to protect citizens are still unjustly persecuting African Americans. It Is So Ordered asks how far have we actually come since those hot July nights? Inspired by true events, It Is So Ordered charts the tragic story of two imprisoned men linked by a lie and the power of forgiveness in an unforgiving world. Set during the outbreak of wrongful and racially motivated imprisonments throughout 1960’s America, It Is So Ordered explores the injustice caused, of which the repercussions are still being felt to this day. 020 7609 1800

£1 transaction fee per ticket on telephone and online bookings, capped at £5

Alexander Raptotasios presents

The Macbeths

18th - 30th Apr 7:45 pm & 5:30 pm £12 (£10 Concession) The Macbeths are hosting a dinner party. There will be food, drinks and karaoke, because enjoying yourself is always important, and entertainment is at the heart of every tragedy. But someone always has to pay in the end. Set as an immersive dinner party with karaoke, this new take on Shakespeare’s classic tragedy is exploring how we consume violence as spectators and when we switch our empathy “on”.

You have nothing to worry about. You do not have to do anything. You can just watch. Have a drink and a snack or two. Texts by William Shakespeare, Alexander Raptotasios and Manolis Tsipos Directed by Alexander Raptotasios Designed by Marco Turcich Produced by Ferodo Bridges CIC

Comedy, tragedy, disco and a lot of food will mix together as the dead are leaving the stage and joining the auditorium.

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And Many Others presents

Becoming Mohammed

2nd - 21st May 7:45 pm & 5:30 pm £14 (£12 Concession) “Would you want me to convert?” “Of course, it’s like wishing you good health.” When Sara knocks on her brother’s door after two years, she hardly recognises the man in front of her. Thomas has grown a beard, gets up at the crack of dawn, and lives with a girl in a Hijab. Sara is sure he is hiding something and sets off on a mission to uncover his secrets, but she discovers more than she anticipated. Based on the real experience of director Annemiek, whose brother converted to Islam, Becoming Mohammed follows the journey of two siblings trying to reconnect in their new lives. It explores what it takes for a Western man to become a Muslim in today’s society, and for his family to come to terms with his choice. Concept and Direction by Annemiek van Elst Script by Claudia Marinaro Poster design by Daniela Pinheiro 020 7609 1800

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Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts presents


11th - 20th May 7.30 pm, 12:00 pm & 5:00 pm £14 (£10 concession) The people are revolting; literally. After a 20-year drought, private toilets have been banned by the government. It’s public bathrooms only, controlled by a greed-driven corporation who have put a high price on a human right. Will a hero rise up to help the people take control? Performed by final year students from Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts, this Tony Award winning musical satire is a 21st century classic, sending up the system at every turn. Directed by Josh Seymour Music and lyrics by Mark Hollman Book and lyrics by Greg Kotis 020 7609 1800

Urinetown was produced on Broadway in September, 2001 by the Araca Group and Dodger Theatricals in association with TheaterDreams, Inc. and Lauren Mitchell. Tickets for this production will go on sale in spring 2017.

£1 transaction fee per ticket on telephone and online bookings, capped at £5

Let Them Call It Mischief presents

Jekyll & Hyde

23rd May - 10th Jun 7:30 pm & 5:00 pm £15 (£12 Concession) Jekyll has a pretty massive secret and would prefer it didn’t get out. Can ‘the good doctor’ keep Hyde hidden? Join “larger than life and laugh out loud” ( Let Them Call It Mischief take on Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic with their trademark “boisterous hilarity” (Stage). Known for their irreverent re-workings of classic texts, Let Them Call It Mischief return to the Pleasance for the fifth time having previously produced: The London Cuckolds, The Final Revelation of Sherlock Holmes, A Christmas Carol and Dracula.

Press from previous shows: “A show to die for” Edinburgh Reporter “Everyone should see this show” London Theatre “A brilliant and inspired show which takes you on a side splittingly funny ride you won’t forget in a hurry” Theatre News “Annoyingly talented” Theatre Bubble

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Theatre with Legs presents


6th - 10th Jun 7:45 pm £12 (£10 Concession) This explosive devised piece by Theatre with Legs asks the question: what is home? DIGS explores the nature of shared living, posing provocations on the housing crisis, love and loneliness. It observes the rituals, the patterns and the codes of behaviour that we adopt when sharing living space. Playfully combining verbatim text, dynamic movement and a live music score, this piece takes the audience on a darkly comic and poetic journey. With personal stories at the helm, from the bizarre to the profound, DIGS looks at how human behaviour plays out in both public and private space.

“Bairstow and Murrain seem to be channelling the domestic bite of Victoria Wood… the linguistic playfulness of Caryl Churchill” Upcoming

“Theatre with Legs are producing the most exciting new theatre work that I have seen in several years... exactly what the British (and International) arts scene need” Catherine Alexander Associate Director, Complicite

Development supported by ETCH.

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£1 transaction fee per ticket on telephone and online bookings, capped at £5

Fictive Theatre presents


23rd May - 4th Jun 7:45 pm & 5:30 pm £12 (£10 Concession) Following a sold out showcase as part of the New Diorama Theatre Companies Programme; Fictive Theatre bring to the Pleasance a brand new absurd, dystopian satire. Lottery is a comedy full of awkward moments, illicit deals and panic ridden decisions.

the line between being the “down-to-earthever yman-who -looks- out-for-the -people”to “the -newest-addition-to-a-club-who-despite swearing-they’ve-been-randomly-selected-have-astriking-resemblance-to-the-old-elected-cabinet.”

Politics has changed, the voting system as we know it has been replaced by a new, fairer system. The PM is chosen at random every 5 years, whether qualified for the job or not.

Fictive Theatre is presenting their third show at the Pleasance following a revival of Fiona Evans’ Scarborough at The Cockpit Theatre and Mark Ravenhill’s Handbag. Fictive is working in association with Bernie Grant Arts Centre and is known to create intimate and brave theatre.

The public can’t be trusted with a vote anymore. Democracy is clearly a flawed system. Running the country is now a random member of the public who, after being chosen, tries to toe

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HeadFirst Productions presents

A Festival of Sex, Love & Death

La Bohème, 2014

La Bohème, 2014

22nd Jun - 1st Jul 7:30 pm & 6:00 pm

£15 (£12 Concession) £12 (£10 Concession)

“Long live women, long live wine! The substance and glory of all humanity!” Sex, love & death are key forces that drive how we perceive and experience our lives; joy, pleasure, pain, fear, trauma… Join HeadFirst Productions for a ten day arts festival to explore some of the fundamental aspects of life that make us human. Reflecting the diversity of the UK theatre scene, A Festival of Sex, Love & Death provides a platform for a range of artistic disciplines from spoken word to cabaret to opera, with Mozart’s 18th century masterpiece Don Giovanni at its centre.

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Don Giovanni’s story is one of pain and destruction. His obsessive, all-consuming relationship with sex and love ultimately causes his downfall: his capture by death and his descent to Hell. Performed in Italian with English surtitles and a small orchestra, this will be the first time opera has been performed at the Pleasance Theatre. HeadFirst Productions is committed to creating work that is dynamic, engaging and exciting, continuing to entice new, fresh audiences into theatres. 020 7609 1800

The company strives to increase accessibility to the arts by producing exceptional work that is appealing for a new audience as well as for regular theatre-goers. HeadFirst Productions returns to London after four and five star reviews for their production of La Bohème, promising provocation, dark humour and sensuality. Event details to be announced. Please check the website for more information.

£1 transaction fee per ticket on telephone and online bookings, capped at £5

With special thanks to our patrons Ellie and Duncan McKinnon Laura and Danny Masters Campbell Armour Karen and Dan Docwra Richard Cockburn and Susan McGrath Chris and Laura Hodgson Tim Wishart

As a patron you can benefit from regular patrons’ updates, discounted tickets, invitations to various patron events, an invitation to our Festival Launch Gala in Edinburgh and much, much more. To find out more about becoming a patron please visit:

Box Office

Find us

Carpenters Mews, North Road, London, N7 9EF 020 7609 1800

UNDERGROUND Caledonian Road - Piccadilly line (5 minutes walk)

Mon - Sun 10am - 6pm

OVERGROUND Caledonian Road and Barnsbury (15 minutes walk)


BUS Bus 393 stops right directly outside the theatre with buses 17, 91, 259 and N91 all stopping at Caledonian Road Underground Station, 5 minutes walk away.

On performance days the Box Office will remain open until the start of the final performance.

Concession rates (where advertised) are available with proof of status for Under 18s, Senior Citizens, Students, Registered Unemployed, Disabled, Visually Impaired, Deaf or Hard of Hearing Visitors. Carers and Personal Assistants can attend free of charge. Group and Schools discounts are available on selected events, please contact the Box Office directly.

PARKING Metered on-street parking is available outside the theatre Mon to Fri 10am 4:30pm with free parking evenings and weekends.

Booking fees Telephone and online bookings are subject to a ÂŁ1 transaction fee per ticket, capped at a maximum of ÂŁ5. Tickets can be collected anytime during Box Office opening hours or posted to you for an additional 50p. Bookings made in person are not subject to a transaction fee. Please note tickets sold are non-refundable and cannot be exchanged. Latecomers may not be admitted.

Access Pleasance Theatre strives to provide access for all. Our Main House is fully accessible via a lift from street level, we have infrared hearing system in both performance spaces, accessible toilets and Guide Dogs are welcome. Sadly at present our StageSpace does not have step free access. Our aim is to make your visit as enjoyable as possible for further information or to discuss any access requirements please contact the Box Office.

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Spring Brochure 2017  

The Pleasance Theatre Islington has been one of the most exciting fringe theatres in London since it opened its doors in 1995, providing a l...

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