About Us

Ovation Theatres Limited was set-up in July 1997 for the specific purpose of opening and running a theatre on the site of a derelict Victorian Music Hall in Highgate Village London N6

The venue is known as UPSTAIRS AT THE GATEHOUSE. Firstly, to indicate its location above The Gatehouse Pub and secondly to avoid confusion with The Gatehouse Theatre in Stafford.

The goals are very clear – to create a successful fringe/pub/independent style theatre presenting all types of theatrical entertainment to an audience of all backgrounds. Initially audiences were drawn from the immediate locality and as the theatre became established, it attracted audiences from the greater London area, the rest of the UK and, via tourists, from the rest of the world.

Although new writing is featured, the criteria for inviting visiting companies to perform at Ovation’s venue is their willingness to use new and young directors, producers, designers, musical directors, choreographers, and stage managers. Our USP is to encourage new and young theatrical creatives so they can get the experience needed to advance their careers.

The joint Artistic Directors are John Plews and Katie Plews. They are responsible for all decisions regarding the running and operation of the building and for the programming of the artistic content.

John Plews trained at LAMDA, worked as a producer for an international production company, spent a number of years looking after entertainment for several major cruise lines and in the early eighties ran three venues for a borough council.

There is a list of shareholders on the Ovation Theatres website under ‘Patrons’. The company also has an Angels scheme for those regular theatregoers who wish to support the venue.

Upstairs at the Gatehouse has become very successful since 1997 and is now an established and popular asset in the community that is Highgate Village.

Upstairs at the Gatehouse is a proud member of SIT (Society of Independent Theatres)