Next stop, Pollywood: an exciting year ahead for Pollokshields Playhouse

Neighbours check out the Playhouse at the Winter Festival ' photo by Jassy Earl
Neighbours check out the Playhouse at the Winter Festival ' photo by Jassy Earl

A meeting place, performance space, workshop or even pop-up cinema — Pollokshields Playhouse aims to be whatever you want from it.

Pollokshields residents may have noticed the eye-catching Playhouse sign, beckoning southsiders to the formerly derelict space across from Tramway.

The Playhouse has a year-long lease on the site, providing outdoor and covered space to any individual or community group creative enough to use it.

Michelle Montgomery, community engagement liaison, told The Extra: “It started as a discussion with Pollokshields Community Council about the Turner Prize coming to Tramway.

“We wanted to show Pollokshields in the best light. It would have been easier to try and beautify it — but it was decided that probably wasn’t best for the community and that we could be more ambitious, looking beyond the Turner Prize.”

The idea snowballed into a grassroots project with funding from Stalled Spaces, Southside Housing Association, Glasgow Life and support from the land owners, with artist Rachel O’Neill, East Pollokshields Quad founder Ria Din and architect Lee Ivett on board to lead the way.

December marked the first official event, with a Winter Festival attracting 300 people to listen to local bands, settle down in pop-up cinema Pollywood and indulge in soup from an open air fire, curry or hot chocolate.

So what else can we expect from the Playhouse in 2016? Anything you want, says Michelle.

“We’ve had people suggest swing dancing, sculpture, cycling, and we’ve been approached by the Southside Film Festival about an outdoor cinema.

“It’s all about links with the community. It’s a huge space, a blank canvas, and now it’s about forging links with local creatives, schools, faith groups — anyone who has an idea they’d like to try out. It’s a testing ground for the Pollokshields community.”

Pollokshields Playhouse hosts drop in sessions on Wednesdays, 12-6pm, and Saturdays, 10am-4pm, and all are welcome along.

For more info, contact Michelle on 07827228692 or letmein@pollokshieldsplayhouse.com.