The Tower Theatre Company's History

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The Tower Theatre, Canonbury
The Tower Theatre, Canonbury -
the Company's home from 1953 to 2003

The Tower Theatre Company took its name from Canonbury Tower, the building that it occupied for over 50 years in Islington, North London. However, the company's history goes back even further than that - it was founded in 1932 as the Tavistock Repertory Company (which is still the official registered name of the company). It was called that because performances were given at the Tavistock Little Theatre, in Bloomsbury, and thus has nothing to do with Devon.

Third Person (1959)
Tom Courtenay

Although it is strictly non-professional, many famous names have appeared here early in their careers, notably Richard Baker who for many years was president of its 'supporters club', The Friends of the Tower Theatre, a position now held by the leading stage designer William Dudley, who first practised his craft at the Tower. Others to have acted with the Company over the years include the late Alec Clunes (father of Martin Clunes), Renée Asherson, Tom Courtenay, Siân Phillips, Michael Gambon, Alfred Molina and John Bennett.

The Tower Theatre Company presents some 18 full-scale productions a year to a wide public audience. We perform in London from late September to the end of July, normally at the Bridewell Theatre, which is just off Fleet Street in Central London, but also from time to time at other London venues such as Theatro Technis in Camden or Upstairs at the Gatehouse in Highgate.

Lark Rise on tour in Cornwall
The Tower on tour :
Lark Rise at the Minack Theatre, August 2010

We also tour to other theatres, often abroad. In 2013 we made one of our occasional visits to the Edinburgh Fringe with a new play, Entertaining Mr. Orton. For the last 24 years we have performed a Shakespeare play in Paris, in an open-air theatre in the Bois de Boulogne. This year's production was King Lear. Last year we also paid one of our regular visits to the Minack Cliffside Theatre in Cornwall with a production of The Producers which won the coveted Minack Theatre Trophy - the third time the Tower has won this coveted award.

The Tower's crowded programme makes it one of the busiest companies of its kind in the country.