Ray Rackham is the Artistic Director for the London Theatre Workshop based above the New Moon pub in Leadenhall Market, London. The theatre group has been homed by Greene King since 2014 and is celebrating its first West End transfer.
In 2014 Greene King gave us an opportunity to open a small theatre space above the Eel Brook pub in Fulham and a year later we relocated to the offices spaces above the New Moon, where we have been ever since.
While we have worked to get the theatre space above the pub up to scratch and ready for performances we have used it to workshop a number of new plays and musicals, and primarily for rehearsals.
During this time the London Theatre Workshop (LTW) has grown and developed exponentially. With dozens of BroadwayWorld, Off-West-End, and Also Recognised award nominations, across a number of our productions in Fulham, and winning London Theatre Pub of the year in 2015. However, the most exciting news of all came recently when we found out my play ‘Judy’ was heading for the West End!
‘Judy!’ a show charting the turbulent life of singer Judy Garland, was workshopped, presented and had its first ever production at LTW Eel Brook in 2015. Its West End premiere is the culmination of three years of development, and is a huge achievement for both me and for LTW. Rather beautifully, the cast members who believed in the show at the Eel Brook are also all going to the West End, with 15 out of 16 of the company actually making their West End debuts (the 16th member, our elder member of cast, is returning to the West End after a 32 year period away!).
Greene King is so important to LTW. Were it not for them believing in LTW, and making our work possible, none of this would have happened. It's not all about the shows, it's about LTW having a safe, friendly environment for theatre practitioners, actors, musicians, stage crew to try new things. The theatre profession can be a lonely place, but Greene King has given us a chance to make a home and create a theatre family that has literally changed the lives of hundreds of people in the last three years.
Greene King has made so many dreams come true for so many people, not least me. ‘Judy!’ is my West End debut as a writer and I am so excited!