Introducing The Bridge, a brand new theatre for the 21st century.

It is not every day that a new theatre opens in London. But when – in 2017 – one does, it has to roll out a pretty snazzy digital offering, too. Enter The Bridge Theatre, located between City Hall and Tower Bridge, whose perky website and Instagram account are brightening up this winter.

The theatre is the brainchild of Nicholas Hytner – former artistic director of the National Theatre – and Nick Starr – who was executive director at the National.

Their mission is to focus on new writing, with the odd classic thrown in. Investors paid for the building and initial costs. But The Bridge is not after government or charitable funding; it plans to run on its revenues.

As the new theatre launched last month [October 2017], Hytner explained his motivation for setting it up in an interview with the FT: “Over the last 15 years there was a 25 per cent rise in the number of theatre tickets sold.

“If you are a commercial theatre producer, your first challenge is to get hold of a theatre. There are more producers wanting to put on shows than the current theatre stock can accommodate and there are audiences waiting to fill those seats.

“One of the brilliant things about theatre is that the more content is shrunk into a tiny screen, the more that’s available at the click of a mouse, the greater the premium you put on the live experience: on the irreducible thrill of being in the room at the same time.”

With its stunning design by Haworth Tompkins Architects, the “infinitely flexible” 900-seat auditorium is the first completely new theatre of significant scale to be added to London’s commercial theatre scene in 80 years.

As a sign of the times, the theatre foyer is designed to serve as a local hub for those that work in or pass through the area. Free wi-fi is available throughout the foyer and visitors are welcome to use computers there.

The foyer bar and café are run in partnership with St John restaurant, who – throughout the day – produce pastries, granola, sandwiches, small plates and a list of carefully chosen wines, local beers and cocktails.

So, visit the website to book tickets to a talk or a show (Young Marx is currently playing to rave reviews), follow the theatre’s effervescent Instagram feed @_bridgetheatre – or just head there with your laptop and get some work done in the gorgeous foyer.

November 2017