To celebrate 10 years of Omnibus Theatre, we’re looking back fondly and sharing some fun facts with you, our dedicated audiences. From a local library to cats, rock ‘n’ roll, Roman plinths and of course, our work as a theatre.
1. Omnibus Theatre 10 years ago used to be the Old Clapham library
A beautiful Victorian building designed by architect, Edward Blakeway I’Anson. The library operated from 1889-2012 and was opened by Lord Lubbock, who said “We may sit in our library, and yet be in all quarters of the earth.”
2. The community-led campaign to save the building took 7 years!
In 2013 Omnibus Theatre officially opened its doors!
3. 6 months later Young Company began
Our youth theatre has since worked with 3,054 young actors to date!
4. We have a 2,000 year old Roman Plinth in our Café Bar garden!
Which was found in the grounds of Cavendish House on Clapham Common South Side in 1912. It was presented to the old Clapham Library, now Omnibus Theatre by Councillor E.J Golds. The plinth is a limestone memorial believed to date from the First Century AD. The latin inscription reads:
Vitus Licinus Ascanius
To the spirits of the departed and to Vitus Licinius Ascanius, he made this for himself in his own lifetime
5. Vivienne Westwood saw our first promenade/site-specific performance of Macbeth
that took place on Clapham Common and throughout the building. She loved the production so much that she wrote about it in her book – Get a life: The Diaries of Vivienne Westwood (2014).
6. In 2015 we hosted our first Clapham Lights
Since then we have been holding the tradition of the annual zip-wire extravaganza, launching various animals soaring through the air!
7. Since 2016 Omnibus Theatre has programmed 180 shows by LGBTQIA+ artists
Engine room supported 150 artists and companies since 2015, including throughout the pandemic.
8. In 2017 the theatre’s cat Molly gave birth in the dressing room!
Molly gave birth to three kittens, called Tybalt, Fred and Allen.
9. In 2018 the Rolling Stones rehearsed in the building
The rock ‘n’ roll band rehearsed for a week in preparation for their world tour.
10. In 2019 we produced our first in-house production The Little Prince
The winter show welcomed 22 local schools and 4,313 audiences.
Thank you to you all who have supported us, had our back, created awe-inspiring theatre, drank tea with us and told us your stories – without you, we wouldn’t be here.