University of Westminster hosts open house event to celebrate 50th anniversary of the Soho Poly performing arts space 01 April 2022 The Soho Poly opened its doors to the local community, welcoming residents, friends and potential partners into the space for an open house event to explore its heritage and plans for the future. Since the music and arts venue was historically designed to be for all members of society to come and experience exceptional culture whatever time of day, the space once more became accessible for the community to witness its artistic potential first-hand. Throughout the event, attendees were treated to periodic performances by Music: Production, Performance and Enterprise BA BMus student Csilla Jakab, whose haunting acoustic melodies attracted further guests walking past the original staircase on Riding House Street. The Soho Poly’s walls had been curated with multiple images of the venue in its 1970s and 1980s prime, as well as the dramatic changes since it was rediscovered approximately ten years ago to present day. Attendees ranged from local councillors, community interest groups and London-based fringe theatre groups, all of whom were able to discuss opportunities for usage and remaining fundraising needs for its redevelopment with Westminster’s Development Team. The Soho Poly is one of London’s most important post-war alternative theatre venues between 1972-1990, and was home of the Soho Theatre for almost 20 years. The venue is based within Westminster’s Little Titchfield Street building and pioneered lunchtime theatre. Talking about the event, Jules Attanyake, Development Manager (Trusts and Foundations) at Westminster, said: “Our Soho Poly 50th anniversary open day was a fantastic success, and we were able to show our partners and the public what a fantastic resource the theatre will become to the community once it is restored.” Eoghain Murphy, Councillor from the Bryanston and Dorset Square Ward said: “A wonderful rediscovery and revival project, the Soho Poly will once again satisfy the need for break-through opportunities for actors and directors. It will be a boon to local residents and workers too with lunchtime and fringe productions, and will provide a collaborative community space; I’m particularly chuffed as it’s just round the corner from me.” Chris Barlow, attendee and Cultural Explorer for the Westminster LGBT Forum, added: “After Lockdown what do we need as a community? Space to meet, space to share, and space to shout out loud. And where is that space? The Soho Poly. Looking forward to meeting the Soho Poly team again soon.” To find out more about how you can support the restoration of the Soho Poly, please email [email protected] or to donate directly, visit the donation webpage.