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I don't think there's anyone working in British theatre who can claim to have set up two of London's most exciting, and most respected, venues within the space of a decade. 

Certainly there's no one quite like Mehmet Ergen, who came over here from Istanbul in 1988 with only a smattering of English, and has since become one of the capital's greatest cultural assets. It's largely thanks to his efforts that, south of the river, we have the Southwark Playhouse, and solely as a result of his determination that, several miles to the north, Dalston has a theatre to crow about - the Arcola.

Dominic Cavendish; The Telegraph

You can't help loving the Arcola because it is so full of surprises, because it mixes the local, the national and the international in one heady brew and because it never lets a little thing like lack of money get in the way of vaulting ambition. The words "not possible" simply don't figure in the director Mehmet Ergen's vocabulary.

 

Lyn Gardner; Guardian

Mehmet Ergen is a real young Turk. It's not quite a year since he turned a disused clothing factory in Dalston into the Arcola Theatre. But he could already give masterclasses in ambitious programming and inventive use of theatrical space. Capable Michael Attenborough, newly anointed artistic director of the Almeida, down the road from Dalston, might take a look. The RSC should certainly ponder the audience 'access' that can be achieved on a shoestring.

 

Susannah Clapp; Observer

Grimeborn may now be an essential fixture, but it remains as bold and cage-rattling as ever, its ambitions capacious. Classics are transfigured, new works premiered, young artists given opportunities, older ones with experience welcomed to the fold. If you’re sensing that this six-week event is a quixotic rattle bag for everyone, you’ve grasped its ethos. The frustration, for me, is in being unable to go to all 16 shows.

 

Fiona Maddocks; Guardian

Every venue in London has come up with a different plan to try and battle through the logistical horrors of trying to operate in the middle of a pandemic. But few are as ambitious as that of Dalson’s Arcola Theatre, which has, in essence -  built an entire new theatre.

 

Andrzej Lukowski; Time Out

On Little Miss Sunshine

★★★★★ “The whole thing is a joy” – The Spy in the Stalls

★★★★ “Charming and funny musical based on the equally charming and funny 2006 film” – Sunday Express

★★★★ “A joyously resourceful production” – LondonTheatre

On Richard III

★★★★ "A swift, clear, actor-driven rendition ... Greg Hicks is a magnetic, darkly memorable
king ... Anthony Lamble has created a highly effective split-level set ... and there are

impressive performances from the 18-strong cast” - The Guardian

★★★★ "Greg Hicks is magnetic in a furiously intense version of Shakespeare's brutal play ...
a captivating central performance that stands with the best of recent times ... an

accomplished supporting cast” -Time Out

★★★★★ "In an age of ‘post-truth’ politics and in the run-up to the June 8 election,
watching Mehmet Ergen’s fantastic production of Richard III is an unsettling experience” - 
Morning Star

On Sweet Smell of Success

★★★★ "British premiere of this 2002 Broadway musical version of the story is sensationally successful if biliously bleak.” - Express

★★★★ "A compelling evening, brilliantly staged by the Arcola’s artistic director Mehmet Ergen, with compact choreography by Nathan M Wright.” - The Telegraph

Pick of the Week ★★★★★ "David Bamber stars as a newspaper columnist in the UK premiere of the musical based on the film.” - The Guardian

An Enemy of The People

★★★★★ "Absolutely cracking – a frighteningly timeless drama that really makes you care passionately – and also despair – about politics. Rebecca Lenkiewicz’s new version is vibrantly fresh and Ergen’s production thrillingly tense. The whole ensemble is strong. Superb stuff.” - Independent on Sunday

★★★★ "Far superior to the laborious spectacle the National gave us a decade ago.

This is Ibsen stripped to the bone and delivered with rare urgency.'” - The Guardian

★★★★ "'Fierce and formidable, all guns blazing, Ergen's production lights up with a cast that is never less than splendid.'” - The Independent

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