In 1998, Sasha Regan took the initiative to convert a disused paper warehouse on Union Street near Southwark station into a functioning theatre. Set beneath railway arches, it was one of the more distinctive theatrical spaces in London. When its landlord, the publicly owned infrastructure body Network Rail, wished to redevelop the site for offices, a campaign was started to save the theatre, and also other small businesses nearby which were given just 12 weeks notice to relocate. The Union Theatre was given a stay of execution.
In 2016, after almost twenty years in its original premises, the Union Theatre moved into new Network Rail premises just across the road from its original site. The theatre's new home, which "will keep the heart of the Union intact," offers a restaurant, rehearsal room, and some offices to let. Enhanced facilities include tiered seats and an increased seating capacity.
The Union has a reputation for staging musicals in its tiny studio space. Some of its productions include Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd, Adler and Ross' The Pajama Game, Gilbert and Sullivan's The Mikado (an all-male version) and HMS Pinafore. The Union won the accolade of Best Up-and-Coming Theatre in the 2008 Empty Space Peter Brook Awards. The Union hosted the London premier of a new musical, Once Upon A Time At The Adelphi, in March 2010.
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