Waterloo and Elephant and Castle, verging on the south east of London are often areas overlooked by the general public due to nearby Brixton and the South Bank being favoutred as tourist destinations. This does not mean that there are no places in these areas to visit however, especially with the winding secret streets of both areas holding many secrets and World Class Attractions for tourists and locals alike to explore. It’s true what they say; London is so big that even hardened inhabitants in the city have not seen it all. That’s why it’s a good idea to explore new and exciting areas, recently redeveloped and full to the brim with life.
Old Vic theatre
The Old Vic Theatre was initially opened as the Royal Coburg Theatre in 1818 and changed hands from Emma Cons to her niece in 1898. The theatre itself is dedicated to performing classic and contemporary international pieces including children’s play, musicals and straight drama. This year the plays on show include the H.M.S Pinnafore, Samuel Beckett’s No’s Knife, Shakespeare’s King Lear and Dr Zeuss’s The Lorax. This wide range of different genres really reflects the diversity that the Old Vic Theatre brings to the stage, even encouraging emerging writers, directors and actors with it’s Old Vic New Voices scheme.
Newport Street Gallery
The Newport Street Gallery is located on none other than Newport Strete and is tucked away behind Elephant and Castle. It is a gallery dedicated to the private collections of Damien Hirst, much of which includes the iconic YBA’s work, or Young British Artists. This group of conceptual and visual artists worked across a broad range of mediums and included the likes of Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin, Gary Hume and Gavin Turk. The gallery, owned by the aforementioned Damien Hirst even has a café and bar surrounded by Hirst’s artwork much of which concerns pharmaceutical products.
Located under Waterloo Station, The Vaults is a performance space dedicated to innovative and bold performance and theatre. This means that a wide range of performances take place and the VAULT festival taking place every year in the tunnels. The area itself is very atmospheric, located in a graffiti laden tunnel under the station itself and the inside holds a bar and a café area. Performances this year at the Vaults include Metamorphosis, the farcical Vaulty Towers Dining Experience, inspired by the sitcom Fawlty Towers as well as the musical Miss Nightingale.
Imperial War museum
The Imperial War Museum’s Elephant and Castle branch is one of five national war museums. The museum was built by the British National Museum organisation in 1917 and was created as a way to archive and commemorate the public and military war efforts and the sacrifices made by them during the First World War. This has since expanded to include all conflicts that the British have taken part in whilst providing visitors with an education and understanding of the British war efforts over the past century.
Located near Elephant and Castle, the Cinema Museum is a museum holding many items relating to the production of film and the moving image whilst also exploring the distribution of film and the experience had by the cinema going public over the years that cinema has existed for. This means that the gallery holds examples of professional and amateur film production whilst also displaying exhibits of film posters, art deco cinema chairs, usher uniforms from the 40’s and 50’s as well as a huge archive of books and over a million photographs. For any Cinephile this museum is a must visit.