Picton Place, Marylebone, London

Dates: 2010-11

A derelict building formerly home to Uzbekistan Airways, Picton Place was the site of Deli's first Theatre Souk, 14 Sep to 16 Oct 2010.

Theatre Souk is an experimental theatrical model conceived and curated by Jessica Brewster, one of Theatre Deli's founders. Theatre Souk is related to promenade theatre, immersive theatre or site-specific theatre, in which each audience member is required to devise their own route through the performance and thus has a unique theatrical experience.

Developed in the period following the 2008 financial crash and economic downturn, and the cuts in arts funding that resulted from them, Theatre Souk was devised as a theatrical experience structured around barter and persuasion, highlighting the negotiation of use value and exchange value that is inherent in the production, dissemination, and consumption of art. Theatre Souk became a performance marketplace, where emerging theatre companies could showcase their more experimental work in an environment governed by the principles of exchange and barter.

Theatre Delicatessen invited sixteen other theatre companies (comprising over sixty artists and performers) to create theatre performances and installations in different parts of the building. Each performance centered on the theme of money.Audience members paid £7 to enter the building and were then required to negotiate with performers to determine the fee for each individual performance. The ground floor bar, where a series of cabaret acts played throughout, adopted the aesthetics of a trading floor, with a large blackboard listing different floors, rooms, and performances. Further intervention into the audience’s decision-making process was provided by roaming, improvising performers who interact directly with the audience members in corridor and other intermediate spaces, offering advice and suggestions on ways to move through the souk and encouraging audience to get the best deal.

It was host to a number of Deli and associated company productions, including the first revival of Mercury Fur by Philip Ridley, directed by Theatre Deli co-founder Frances Loy. As well as its warm reception which was part of the critical reassessment of the play after its first production at The Royal Court, the production was notable as police almost raided the venue when a resident living next door believed the play's violent scenes were being carried out for real. Actors waiting offstage along with the company's producer intervened before the police stopped the performance.


Mercury Fur - directed by Frances Loy 

A Doll's House

The Canterbury Tales - adapted by Tom Daplyn

A Christmas Carol - .dash & tacit theatre


Flabbergast Theatre - Developed work and performed at Theatre Souk - Puppet Poker Pit and Boris & Sergey


Henry Maynard

Elaine Hartley

Louisa Ashton

Richard Booth

Dylan Tate 


It was at Theatre Deli that the formation of Flabbergast Theatre (now an award winning internationally touring company) began in 2010

Local Authority: Westminster

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