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
In 2016 the Tower was chosen by the Royal Shakespeare Company as its London partner for its production of A Midsummer Night's Dream : A Play for the Nation, with performances at the Barbican Theatre in London and the RSC Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon.

We also tour to other theatres, often abroad, and we have performed from time to time at the Edinburgh Fringe. For the last 25 years we have performed a Shakespeare play in Paris, in an open-air theatre in the Bois de Boulogne. Last year's production was Romeo and Juliet. In 2016 we also paid one of our regular visits to the Minack Cliffside Theatre in Cornwall with a production of a new musical, The Return of the Marionettes. Plans for this year include a tour to Gloucester, Massachusetts in the U.S.A with The Importance of Being Earnest and a further trip to Paris with Much Ado About Nothing.


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