About us

Stanley Arts is one of South London’s premiere arts and performance venues, providing our local community with a vital home for cultural expression and discovery. As a radically inclusive space we seek to foreground under-represented voices, providing artists of colour and LGBTQ+ creatives with a platform to reach out to audiences across South London and beyond.

COMMONS Festival 2023

COMMONS Festival 2023

COMMONS returns for 2023. A curated dance festival of performances, workshops and exhibitions.

Stanley Arts continues its commitment to showcase dance for everyone with a joyful programme of exhibitions, workshops, performances and parties; all celebrating the glorious diversity of dance and exploring our shared love of movement and music! 

Leading Hip-Hop we’ve got the movement architects BirdGang Ltd. Thick & Tight will be bringing a contemporary twist. We have Akademi leading our South Asian work, and Juicy Couture will be bringing us all the flavour of vogue Ballroom.

We invite you to join our mailing list as we reveal the COMMONS 2023 programme. They’ll be plenty for all ages to get involved and share our appreciation of the art form of dance. This Spring, come witness something fresh as we encourage new audiences to dive into our workshops, exhibitions, dance battles and kiki balls. 

The programme includes:

15th – 28st May – Dance at Stanley Arts exhibition in the Gallery

Tuesday 16th May – Akademi presents: Contemporary Bollywood class with Aanchal Gupta

Wednesday 17th May – Oceanallover Presents: Ecdysis – Shedding Your Skin

Thursday 18th May – Oceanallover Presents: Ecdysis (In Vivo)

Thursday 18th May – Thick & Tight: Can dance be entertaining and political?

Friday 19th  May – The OTA Battle Zone with  BirdGang Ltd and Juicy Couture

Saturday 20th May –  COMMONS Extravaganza

Sunday 21st May – Mini movers and their Grown Up Groovers

Sunday 21st MayThick and Tight workshop with: Corali Dance Company

Sunday 21st MayThick and Tight workshop with: Vidya Patel

Sunday 21st MayThick and Tight workshop with: Azara Meghie


Monday 22nd May – Akademi presents: Understanding Bharatanatyam’ – Open to all with Mathangi

Tuesday 23rd MayAkademi presents: Breakdance and Bharanatyam with Shreya

Wednesday 24th May – Akademi presents Elemental: Forces of Nature

Wednesday 24th MayBirdGang Ltd Presents: An Intro to Hip Hop with Kayla “Peackock” Lomas-Kirton

Wednesday 24th MayBeginners Vogue Femme

Thursday 25th May – BirdGang Ltd Presents: Dance on film workshop with Simeon ‘Van Hasselt’ Qysea

Thursday 25th May – Vogue Femme Master Class

Friday 26th MayF*** It Up Fridays, COMMONS special

Saturday 27th MayThe Take Me Back Kiki Ball

Sunday 28th MayMini movers and their Grown Up Groovers

Sunday 28th MayThe Battle Cage 

More events to come!

For more information, follow us on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram.
Join the conversation and keep tagging us in your pics and vids, and use the hashtags #DanceForAll & #CommonsFestival23.

Early-bird until: 31st March 2023

Photography credit to Vipul Sangoi.

London Borough of Culture
The Mayor’s London Borough of Culture award, launched in June 2017, brings Londoners together. It puts culture at the heart of local communities, where it belongs, illuminating the character and diversity of London’s boroughs and showing culture is for everyone, giving all Londoners a chance to be part of something extraordinary

This is Croydon
The programme for London Borough of Culture 2023, This Is Croydon, will be a celebration of everything Croydon has to offer – created, directed and presented by the people of the borough. From major events with internationally renowned artists performing alongside home-grown talent, to dozens of cultural activities from Croydon’s diverse creative communities, the programme will showcase the very best of Croydon to London and the world.

This is Croydon… and you’re welcome.
Culturecroydon.com @culturecroydon #ThisisCroydon #CultureCroydon






COMMONS Festival 2023 at Stanley Arts, May 2023COMMONS Festival 2023 at Stanley Arts, May 2023COMMONS Festival 2023 at Stanley Arts, May 2023COMMONS Festival 2023 at Stanley Arts, May 2023COMMONS Festival 2023 at Stanley Arts, May 2023COMMONS Festival 2023 at Stanley Arts, May 2023COMMONS Festival 2023 at Stanley Arts, May 2023

New Beginnings this January

New Beginnings this January

A new year brings new beginnings… Two opportunities we are very excited to announce as we head into the new year and we continue our mission to support creatives at every stage of their artistic journey! Firstly, we’re offering free rehearsal space in our Scene Dock for up to a week in January (limited availability.) If it’s a workspace is what you require, not to worry, we’re offering a free workspace for those aged 25 & under in our Gallery Coworking Space too!

And we’re not stopping there! Don’t forget we’ve got events for everybody taking place across January…

5th January (every first Thursday of the month) – Nice n’ Spiky Comedy Club: The Twelfth Night Special 

8th January – Foxtots Bops: New Year Knees Up! 

10th January (fortnightly until 21st March) – Stanley’s Life Drawing 

15th January (every Sunday morning until 2nd April) – Mini Movers & Their Grown-up Groovers

19th January – On The Line by Emilia Teglia 

21st January – The Kingdom’s League Final Showdown

27th January (every last Friday of the month) – F*** It Up Fridays

11th February – Crash Course in Site Responsive Devising

11th February – The Drag Love Ball

On the Line by Emilia TegliaFierce It Presents The Love Ball. Hosted by Tinana Biscuit with Coco Couture, Olivia Laugh Love, Tayris, Lucy Santana Fernandes & Amelia Deal. Saturday 11th February 2023 - 7:30pm - Stanley Arts.

Christmas at Stanley Arts

Christmas at Stanley Arts

Come down to Stanley Arts this Christmas season for a busy programme of events and enjoy our family and dog friendly Stanley Social Café! The Stanley Social Café is open Mon-Fri, 10am-4pm, and our Yard Bar is open for our events, supplying you with with their speciality mould wine and other festive treats!

We’ve got lots of exciting events across leading into Christmas; from our Christmas Market, Santa’s Grotto, Christmas Lights Turn-on and other music, family and dance to queer events, workshops and tours:

1st November – 13th December (fortnightly) – Life Drawing at Stanley Arts (Untutored) 

2nd November – 14th December – Mini Movers & Their Grown Groovers with Takeshi Matsumoto & Makiko Aoyama

4th November – Meet the Funders: London Borough of Culture

4th November – 9th December – Maternal Journal

4th November – Nice n’ Spiky Comedy Club 

5th November – 10th December – Family Groovers with BirdGang Ltd

5th November – Magnificent Magic Lanterns

11th November – Ceilidh with The Conquering Heroes

11th November – One Size Fits All

13th November – Shop Kilo’s Vintage Fair

14th November – Soda Beat

30th November – 2nd December – Christmas Wreath Workshop with Red Kite Plants

2nd December – 24th December – Santa’s Grotto

2nd December – 3rd December – Stanley Arts Christmas Market

2nd December – Christmas Lights Turn-on

2nd December – Nice n’ Spiky Comedy Christmas Special

3rd December – Stanley’s Silent Disco

4th December – Festive Wreaths with Woolf & Wild

4th December – The Nutcracker

10th December – The Holi-Slay Ball

11th December – Edwardian Christmas Craft Workshop

11th December – Christmas Family Frozen Sing-a-long!

17th December – 27th December – Sleeping Beauty 

To book onto an event, please follow the links above and follow ‘Book Tickets.’ Alternatively, give us a call on 020 8251 0184 or email bookings@stanleyarts.org


Festive wreath on a bright red door!Santa's GrottoSoda BeatStanley Hall CinemaStanley Hall Christmas Market

Autumn Season

Autumn Season

Autumn 2022; Open House Festival, termly family dance classes commenced at lots more. The Yard Bar’s opening times changed so it was only open in accordance to scheduled events. Stanley Social Cafe took on it’s autumn hours; Mon-Fri, 10am-4pm.

We programmed lots of exciting events across leading into Halloween and Half Term; from music, family and dance to queer events, workshops and tours:

7th September – 14th December – Mini Movers & Their Grown Groovers with Takeshi Matsumoto & Makiko Aoyama

10th September – 10th December – Family Groovers with Birdgang LTD

17th & 18th September – Open House Tours

20th September – 13th December (fortnightly) – Life Drawing at Stanley Arts (Untutored) 

24th September – Monologue Writing Workshop: Finding Inspiration in Art and Artefacts

30th September – 25th November – F*** It Up Fridays 

5th, 6th, 8th & 9th October – Unscene: An immersive show around the hidden corners of Stanley Arts

7th October – JUBI JUBI: A Queer Traditional Celebration

8th October – The American W’Horror Story Kiki Ball

14th October – Haven’t Stopped Dancing Yet! 

20th October – Whisky Tasting with Exploring Whisky

21st October – DO-RE-MI-KA-DO

22nd October – Solve a Sherlock Holmes Mystery!

22nd October – Halloween Pumpkin Carving 

22nd October – Halloween Family Disco!

22nd October – The Halloqueen Ball III

23rd October – Grace Petrie

17th October – Making Music and Family Songwriting Workshop

30th October – Pointe Black: The Path 

Image of two people embracing on a stairwell next to some beautiful, green, 1920s tiles. Photo from 'What songs may do' shoot by Nic GuarinoPhoto of the lobby at Stanley Arts. There are green, art deco tiles on the bottom half of the walls, a window in the centre of the room with some stained class flower motifs and two doors and either side of the hall made out of teak.Poster Halloqueen Ball 2022

Summer Season

Summer Season

Summer 2022, Stanley Arts consisted of a busy programme ranging in genres and audiences. We invited you to Stanley Arts this summer for a busy programme of events and enjoy our family and dog friendly Yard Bar!

The Yard Bar opened it’s summer hours; every weekend Fridays 6 – 10.30pm, Saturdays 12 – 10.30pm, Sunday 12 – 8pm and our Social Café was also opening Saturdays and Sundays 12 – 5pm and served a new summer menu!

We had lots of exciting events including:

Saturday 5th June – Salieri Ensemble: Brahms’ Clarinet Quintet

Friday 10th June – Stanley’s Quiz Night with Zoo Co!

Friday 17th June – Drag Under The Stars

Monday 20th June – Spiers & Boden

Saturday 25th June – Drag Brunch with Artemis Prime

Sunday 26th June – Mama G’s Family Pride Party

Saturday 2nd July – Stanley Stories Community Festival

Saturday 9th & Sunday 10th July – Nice N’ Spiky Comedy Weekender @ Stanley Arts

Friday 15th July –Drag Under The Stars

Saturday 16th July – Croydon Pride’s Official After Party

Friday 29th July – South Drawood Exhibition Launch

Saturday 6th August – Stanley’s Silent Disco!

Friday 19th August – Drag Under The Stars

Sunday 21st August – Kitty Whitelaw’s Summer Swing Trio!

Thursday 8th September – As You Like It

People outdoors in the Stanley Arts Yard Bar on a summer's dayCroydon Pride After Party

Heritage Events

Heritage Events

Join us in celebration of the people, past and present, who have shaped South Norwood as we approach our 120th anniversary at Stanley Arts.

Share your memories, connect with the community and learn about local history through our series of heritage engagement events throughout the year.

Come by for anything from a quick look around an exhibition to a full family day out. Drop in on memory mapping events to share your stories, or get your hands dirty in our historic herb garden. Inclusivity is at the heart of our programme, and our new accessible refurbishments have opened up more of our historic building to the public so we can welcome everyone!

The programme includes:

Wednesday 1st June Family Bunting Workshop

Saturday 4th June Create a Crown –  Family Workshop 

Sunday 19th June Stanley’s Stolen Paintings – Family Crafts

Saturday 2nd July Stanley Stories Community Festival this event will include:

Trash or Treasure junk modelling, Memory Mapping, Historic Herbs in partnership with Kew Gardens and Stanley Sharing open mic night.  

Saturday 16th July The Stanley Arts Players – Children’s Drama Workshops

For more information, check out our What’s On page under the ‘Heritage’ tag.

Crossed fingers logo with text to the side saying, made possible with Heritage Fund

Commons: A Dance Festival

Commons: A Dance Festival

This May join our venue-wide festival of dance, all about getting people connecting, interacting and moving again. With the Commons Festival, Stanley Arts continues its commitment to showcasing dance for everyone with a joyful programme of exhibitions, workshops, performances and parties; all celebrating the glorious diversity of dance.

Come and get inspired! From entry-level workshops to our infamous monthly Ballroom OTA there is something for everyone – whether you are a wallflower or a party animal. Featuring Hip Hop, South Asian dance, Vogue Ballroom and more, Commons is all about exploring our shared love of movement and music.

The programme includes:

Thursday 12th May Open Ballroom Session with Sattva Ninja + Celeesi Revlon

Friday 13th May Ballroom Workshop: New Way with Princess Sofia Ninja

Friday 13th May Ballroom Workshop: Vogue Fem with Karteer

Friday 13th – Tuesday 31st May Exhibitions curated by Simeon Qysea and Vipul Sangoi

Saturday 14th May Ballroom Workshop: Commentating with Overall European Father Typhoon Prodigy

Monday 16th May Beginners Hip Hop Class with BirdGang Ltd’s Kayla “Peacock” Lomas-Kirton

Monday 16th May Beginners Popping Workshop with Mechanikool

Tuesday 17th May Advanced Hip Hop Workshop with BirdGang Ltd’s Simeon “Kardinal” Campell 

Wednesday 18th May Beginners Breaking Class with BirdGang Ltd’s Amber Williams 

Wednesday 18th May Dance Industry Networking Event

Sunday 22nd May Advanced Breakin Workshop with AJ-47

Sunday 22nd May Advanced House Workshop with Frankie J

Sunday 22nd May The Commons Battle by BirdGang Ltd and Stanley Arts

Sunday 22nd May Storyland – a community dance project from Ania Straczynska

Monday 23rd May Indian Folk dance class for all ages and abilities with Anusha Subramanyam

Tuesday 24th May Beginners Bollywood for adults with Anusha Subramanyam

Tuesday 24th May Bollywood for kids with Anusha Subramanyam 

Friday 27th May AltBlax x F*** It Up Fridays x Let’s Have a Kiki #TheParty

Saturday 28th May Commons: After Dark Finale Party

Live Music in April

Live Music in April

This April, Stanley Arts is focussing on live music events. We’re building our audience through providing a range of musical genres and events, as this is an integral part of our programme and our community.

This month’s programme will foreground hip-hop and jazz music, alongside local musicians and artists.

From a local BRIT School Music showcase to a triple-bill from hip-hop record label High Focus, April at Stanley Arts will provide a diverse array of live music events which will introduce our local communities to something new.

Our programme includes:

Wednesday 6th April at 7pm The BRIT School presents… 

Thursday 7th April at 7pm Global Beats Dance Party II

Friday 22nd April at 8pm High Focus: Ed Scissor, Verbz & Mr Slipz, DJ Sammy B-Side

Saturday 30th April at 8pm Xhosa Cole Quartet + jam


Female Voices

Female Voices

This March, in order to celebrate International Women’s Day and Women’s Month, Stanley Arts presents its ‘Female Voices season. 

This month’s programme will foreground creative women, alongside non-binary & gender fluid people, as we celebrate female voices in art and performance.

From our three-day music festival to queer black film screenings, from improv groups to creative networking events, Stanley Arts’ Female Voices season will provide a diverse array of events which celebrate femme voices across all art forms and celebrate the female majority. 

Our programme includes:

Friday 4th March – Nice N’ Spiky Comedy Celebrates International Women’s Day

Tuesday 8th March – International Women’s Day Networking Event

Thursday 10th March – Gals Fest: Int Women’s Day jam

Friday 11th March – Gals Fest: Queen Colobus + Hannah Rodríguez

Saturday 12th March – Gals Fest: Young Talent Showcase

Saturday 12th March – Gals Fest: Tomorrow’s Warriors presents Allexa Nava, Amy Gadiaga + Isobella Burnham

Friday 18th March – Yes Queens

Saturday 19th March – Messy

Thursday 24th March – FRANKIE THOMPSON: CAttS (Work-In-Progress)

Sunday 27th March – Rejuvenate and Renew Self-Care and Sound Healing with Spiritual Tiik

Sunday 27th March – Truth to Power Café

Monday 28th March – The Revival: Women & The Word + Q&A




This February, for 2022 LGBTQIA+ history month, Stanley Arts presents its ‘Queer+’ season. 

This programme of events will celebrate the unique contribution of queer artists and performers to the UK’s cultural life. Stanley Arts will be bringing together communities from across London’s queer scene and sharing the most inspiring artists and creative performances with everyone. 

From Andrew Logan’s Alternative Miss World to a Kiki Ball, from zine-making workshops to Croydon Pride’s Got Talent, Stanley Arts’ Queer+ season will encompass the full spectrum of queer creativity that London has to offer. 

Our programme includes:

Friday 4th FebruaryQueer Diary zine-making workshop

Friday 11th February – Queer Diary


Friday 11th FebruaryThe Valentine’s Love Drag Ball

Saturday 12th FebruaryThe British Guide To Showing Off + Q&A with Andrew Logan

Sunday 13th FebruaryMama G’s Story Time

Tuesday 15th February – River Manning: Transfloration Exhibition

Saturday 19th FebruaryThe Legend of Leigh Bowery + Q&A with Sue Tilley

Monday 21st February – Protect and Survive: A Queer Femme Perspective

Wednesday 23rd February – Harry Wright: Smalltown Boy

Friday 25th February – F*** It Up Friday OTA

Saturday 26th February – Croydon Pride’s Talent Show 2022

Monday 28th FebruaryLorraine Hansberry: Sighted Eyes/Feeling Hearts + Q&A


New Beginnings

New Beginnings

In January 2022, the Stanley Arts ‘New Beginnings’ programme will be showcasing new and exciting work from emerging artists, theatre companies, circus performers, stand-up comedians, and many more. 

We have a mission to support creatives at every stage of their artistic journey, so next month we are providing space to great new artists to share their work in an informal setting. This will allow them to gain feedback and develop their art; while our intrepid audiences will get to see the ‘next big thing in the making’.

Why not come and join us to find out more? Whether you want to see circus, comedy, children’s theatre, or be part of an improv workshop, there’s something for everyone to get involved with this January!

Many of our Emerging Work events will be on a pay-what-you-can deal – the artists involved want to make their emerging work as accessible as possible, so that you can try something new this January at a very low cost, and get a taste of the best up-and-coming theatre, comedy, and music that South London has to offer.

Our programme includes:

Friday 7th January – Nice N Spiky: Emerging Comics

Saturday 8th January – A Museum for Dead Instincts by Clout Theatre

Tuesday 11th JanuaryPaper Swans Rehearsed Reading

Friday 14th January – Ou Est Sa Tête with Lavrak Circus

Wednesday 19th JanuaryImprov Workshop with PillowTalk

Friday 21st January – Criminally Untrue with PillowTalk Theatre

Saturday 22nd JanuaryTongue Tied: Open Mic Night

Friday 28th January – Hasbian: Open Rehearsal

Friday 28th January – F*** It Up Friday OTA

Sunday 30th January – The Adventures of Madame Carol Sell and Mr Popsy


Our Vision For 2022

Our Vision For 2022

Stanley Arts is currently undergoing some big changes, including with our artistic programme. In 2022 we are aiming to expand our diversity in every sense and would love to hear from artists who may like to be a part of our new creative programme.

If you’re a local artist from Norwood, Croydon, or the rest of South London, we would love to hear from you. We regularly programme a wide range of performers and artists, so we’re open to everything. Previous works include theatre, dance, drag, music, ballroom, classes, cabaret, club nights, art exhibitions, and more.

We are actively looking to programme artists who identify as black or from an ethnic minority background, as queer or LGBTQ+, as deaf or disabled, or are part of any other group under-represented in mainstream culture. We aim to be a radically inclusive space, and aim to reflect this inclusion within our artistic programme.

Also, if you would just like to be featured on our social media platforms, we are currently looking for local artists to promote – you can find the Google Form here. If you have any problems with this, don’t hesitate to contact us on social media, or email evie@stanleyarts.org.

For artistic or programming enquiries, please contact evie@stanleyarts.org to start the conversation, or gain more information about the venue and how we work. We can’t wait to hear from you!

Our Monthly Regulars

Our Monthly Regulars

Our artistic programme consists of a wide range of performers and artists – but some of these artists stay with us on a monthly basis.

Nice N Spiky Comedy, featuring five new comedians every first Friday of the month

F*** It Up Fridays, a drag ballroom OTA every last Friday of the month

Our Black Queer Film Programme, hosted by Batty Mama every last Monday of the month

Our jazz jam, hosted monthly on the last Thursday of every month

© 2023 Stanley Arts Charity No: 1155680