Saturday, April 23, 2022

Old St Pancras Church House and Theatro Technis

Wandering north of St Pancras, I came across an unexpected building: Old St Pancras Church House.

Ornamental Passions explains:

The church itself is right next to the station, so it was rather isolated from the community after the railway took over much of the land for marshalling yards in the later Victorian period. This must have been part of the motivation for building this charming mission hall to the north of the church in 1896 to the designs of C.R. Baker King.

The figure of the saint over the door was carved by Harry Hems (1842-1916), an eccentric and excitable sculptor who had made his home in Exeter after winning a commission to work on the Royal Albert Memorial Museum there.

The mission hall is somewhere behind the house and was all locked up when I was there on Wednesday, but it is home to Theatro Technis. The organisation's website explains:

Founded in 1957 by George Eugeniou ... and a group of actors five decades ago, Theatro Technis first started its work in an old unused warehouse located in the backyard of King's Cross.

Then after many challenges, it finally found its permanent home in an old Church building where it has flourished into a centre of multi-faceted and multi-cultural activities. It became one of the first venues in the UK dedicated to serving its local, working-class, and immigrant community back in the early '60s.  Since then it has continued to be home to international companies and independent artists.

You can read more about Theatro Techis and its founder in the Wikipedia entry for George Eugeniou.

Later. And you can watch an interview with him that was presumably filmed inside the theatre here.

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