Riverside Studios
Riverside Studios is a production studio, theatre
Theatre is a collaborative form of fine art that uses live performers to present the experience of a real or imagined event before a live audience in a specific place. The performers may communicate this experience to the audience through combinations of gesture, speech, song, music or dance...

 and independent cinema
Movie theater
A movie theater, cinema, movie house, picture theater, film theater is a venue, usually a building, for viewing motion pictures ....

 on the banks of the River Thames
River Thames
The River Thames flows through southern England. It is the longest river entirely in England and the second longest in the United Kingdom. While it is best known because its lower reaches flow through central London, the river flows alongside several other towns and cities, including Oxford,...

 in Hammersmith
Hammersmith is an urban centre in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham in west London, England, in the United Kingdom, approximately five miles west of Charing Cross on the north bank of the River Thames...

, London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

, England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

. It plays host to contemporary and international dramatic and dance
Dance is an art form that generally refers to movement of the body, usually rhythmic and to music, used as a form of expression, social interaction or presented in a spiritual or performance setting....

 performance, film
A film, also called a movie or motion picture, is a series of still or moving images. It is produced by recording photographic images with cameras, or by creating images using animation techniques or visual effects...

, visual art exhibitions and television
Television is a telecommunication medium for transmitting and receiving moving images that can be monochrome or colored, with accompanying sound...



In 1933, the Triumph Film Company moved into what is now Riverside Studios, a former industrial warehouse in Crisp Road, London, picturesquely located on the Thames just south of the late Victorian Hammersmith Bridge. Under the ownership of Jack Buchanan
Jack Buchanan
Walter John "Jack" Buchanan was a British theatre and film actor, singer, producer and director. He was known for three decades as the embodiment of the debonair man-about-town in the tradition of George Grossmith Jr., and was described by The Times as "the last of the knuts." He is best known in...

, the company produced many well-known films including The Happiest Days of Your Life and Father Brown, starring Alec Guinness
Alec Guinness
Sir Alec Guinness, CH, CBE was an English actor. He was featured in several of the Ealing Comedies, including Kind Hearts and Coronets in which he played eight different characters. He later won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his role as Colonel Nicholson in The Bridge on the River Kwai...

 (1953). In 1954, the studios were acquired by the BBC for its television service. Series 2 to 6 of Hancock's Half Hour (1957–60) were made at what was now the BBC Riverside Studios, along with other drama and music programmes, including the SF classic Quatermass and the Pit
Quatermass and the Pit
Quatermass and the Pit is a British television science-fiction serial, originally transmitted live by BBC Television in December 1958 and January 1959. It was the third and last of the BBC's Quatermass serials, although the character would reappear in a 1979 ITV production simply entitled Quatermass...

(1958–59), early episodes of the long-running Doctor Who
Doctor Who
Doctor Who is a British science fiction television programme produced by the BBC. The programme depicts the adventures of a time-travelling humanoid alien known as the Doctor who explores the universe in a sentient time machine called the TARDIS that flies through time and space, whose exterior...

, and the children's programme Play School. The facility was in continuous use until the early 1970s, the rooftop camera position providing one of the highlights of the annual University Boat Race each Easter Saturday.

In 1975, after the BBC moved out, a charitable Trust formed by Hammersmith and Fulham Council took control of the building. Soon afterwards, two large multi-purpose spaces shaped by architect Michael Reardon
Michael Reardon (English architect)
Michael Reardon is an English architect, historic building consultant, and interior designer. He worked on the Swan Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon, England, as well as being the inspecting architect for Birmingham's St. Philip's Cathedral and Hereford Cathedral.His most notable project, the Swan...

 from the two main sound stages, and to be used for a mixed programme of live theatre, music, dance and film, and a functional foyer area with exposed industrial-style
Industrial Style
Industrial Style refers to an aesthetic trend in design that emphasizes sharp lines, abrupt connections and dynamic interactions of motion. It is derivative of the same forces that created the architectural movement Deconstructivism and the anime genre Mecha, and can be seen in such automobile...

 trunking and pipework was created as an always-open meeting point at the heart of the building.

In 1976, Peter Gill
Peter Gill (playwright)
Peter Gill, theatre director, playwright and former actor, was born in Cardiff, Wales, on 7 September 1939, son of George John Gill and his wife Margaret Mary .He was educated at St Illtyd's College, Cardiff.-Career:...

 was appointed Riverside's first Artistic Director and soon established the Studios as a leading London arts venue with acclaimed productions of The Cherry Orchard
The Cherry Orchard
The Cherry Orchard is Russian playwright Anton Chekhov's last play. It premiered at the Moscow Art Theatre 17 January 1904 in a production directed by Constantin Stanislavski. Chekhov intended this play as a comedy and it does contain some elements of farce; however, Stanislavski insisted on...

with Judy Parfitt
Judy Parfitt
Judy Parfitt is a BAFTA-nominated English theatre, film and television actress who began her career on stage in 1954.-Life and work:...

, Julie Covington
Julie Covington
Julie Covington is an English singer and actress, best known for recording the original version of "Don't Cry for Me, Argentina".-Career:...

 and Michael Elphick
Michael Elphick
Michael John Elphick was an English actor. Elphick was known in the UK for his trademark croaky voice and his work on British television, in particular his roles as the eponymous private investigator in the ITV series Boon and later Harry Slater in BBC's EastEnders.Robust and ruggedly good-looking...

 (1978), The Changeling with Brian Cox (1979) and Measure for Measure
Measure for Measure
Measure for Measure is a play by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in 1603 or 1604. It was classified as comedy, but its mood defies those expectations. As a result and for a variety of reasons, some critics have labelled it as one of Shakespeare's problem plays...

(1980). During the 1980s, the Centre was the venue for the highly successful Dance Umbrella
Dance Umbrella
Dance Umbrella is an annual festival of new or contemporary dance held in London each October. Founded in 1978 as a showcase for emerging choreographers, Dance Umbrella now ranks highly among Europe's leading international dance festivals...

 seasons, and hosted a huge variety of productions from across the world - including, notably, the work of Polish theatre maestro Tadeusz Kantor
Tadeusz Kantor
Tadeusz Kantor was a Polish painter, assemblage artist, set designer and theatre director. Kantor is renowned for his revolutionary theatrical performances in Poland and abroad.- Life and career :...

. An influential gallery area also flourished, under the direction of Greg Hilty. Channel 4
Channel 4
Channel 4 is a British public-service television broadcaster which began working on 2 November 1982. Although largely commercially self-funded, it is ultimately publicly owned; originally a subsidiary of the Independent Broadcasting Authority , the station is now owned and operated by the Channel...

's opening night launch party was held at the Studios in 1982. During the 1980s, the Riverside was also home to Motley Theatre Design Course
Motley Theatre Design Course
Motley Theatre Design Course is a one-year independent theatre design course in London. It was founded at Sadler's Wells Opera in 1966.- Sadler's Wells Opera & English National Opera:...

, under the directorship of Margaret Harris
Margaret Harris
Margaret Frances Harris was an English theatre and opera costume and scenic designer.-Early years:Harris was born in Hayes, Kent, the fourth child and second daughter of William Birkbeck Harris, a Lloyds Insurance clerk, and his wife Kathleen Marion, née Carey...


Following repeated financial crises, and the directorship of David Gothard, Riverside pulled in its horns. The Studios' Cinema, with an eclectic repertory programme, became firmly established as a primary revenue stream to keep the Studios open, in addition to ACGB and local authority funding, and there were fewer home-grown live productions. Studios 1 and 3 were lucratively used once more in the 1990s for broadcasting, including the Chris Evans vehicle TFI Friday
TFI Friday
TFI Friday is an entertainment show broadcast on Channel 4 in the United Kingdom from 1996 to 2000. The show produced by Ginger Productions, written by Danny Baker and hosted by Chris Evans, for the first 5 series. The final series was hosted by a number of Guest Presenters. It was broadcast on...

. CD:UK was broadcast from Riverside from 2003 until 2006. Recent projects have included the BBC's Mighty Truck of Stuff and Channel 4's T4 and Popworld.

The current Director (2009) is William Burdett-Coutts - also the Artistic Director of Edinburgh's Assembly Rooms
Assembly Rooms (Edinburgh)
The Assembly Rooms is a former assembly rooms located in central Edinburgh, the rooms now host a number of events including the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and the Hogmanay celebrations. There are four rooms that are used year-round and are available for private functions: Music Hall, Ballroom,...

 - who runs the Studios with a youth-orientated agenda. Live performance is now based in Studio 2 and 3, and Studio 1 hired out for external television and video recordings.

Recent Television Productions

  • TNT Show, Channel 4
    Channel 4
    Channel 4 is a British public-service television broadcaster which began working on 2 November 1982. Although largely commercially self-funded, it is ultimately publicly owned; originally a subsidiary of the Independent Broadcasting Authority , the station is now owned and operated by the Channel...

     with Jack Whitehall
    Jack Whitehall
    Jack Peter Benedict Whitehall is an English comedian, television presenter and actor, best known for hosting the E4 show Big Brother's Big Mouth in 2008, Celebrity Big Brother's Big Mouth in January 2009, and the Channel 4 topical entertainment show the TNT Show.-Early life:Whitehall was born in...

  • The Apprentice: You're Fired!
    The Apprentice: You're Fired!
    The Apprentice: You're Fired!, sometimes named You're Fired!, The Apprentice: You're Hired! or You're Hired!, is a British television show made by the BBC and filmed at Riverside Studios as a spin-off from the reality TV hit The Apprentice...

  • Celebrity Juice
    Celebrity Juice
    Celebrity Juice is a British television comedy panel game show on ITV2 that has been airing since 24 September, 2008. The show is presented by Keith Lemon, with regular captains Holly Willoughby and Fearne Cotton, alongside regular panellist Rufus Hound...

  • You Have Been Watching
    You Have Been Watching
    You Have Been Watching is a British comedy panel game presented by Charlie Brooker, produced by Zeppotron for Channel 4 and filmed at BBC Television Centre and Riverside Studios in London. It first aired on Tuesday 7 July 2009, for a weekly eight-episode run...

  • Russell Howard's Good News
    Russell Howard's Good News
    Russell Howard's Good News is a British comedy and topical news show broadcast on BBC Three and, since the show's fourth series, BBC HD. Hosted by comedian Russell Howard, he offers his commentary on the news of the week using mostly standup, but including sketches and guest appearances from people...

  • Robert's Web
    Robert's Web
    Robert's Web is a topical comedy show hosted by Robert Webb looking at the latest news, happenings, videos and pictures from the internet in the last week....

Recent Dramatic Productions

  • Spectacular by Forced Entertainment
  • 1800 Acres by David Myers starring Cathy Tyson
    Cathy Tyson
    Catherine "Cathy" Tyson is an English stage, film and television actress.-Early life:The daughter of a Trinidadian barrister father and an English social worker mother, Tyson and her family moved to Liverpool when she was approximately two years old.-Career:Tyson attended the Everyman Youth...

  • The New Electric Ballroom by Enda Walsh
    Enda Walsh
    Enda Walsh is an Irish playwright born in Dublin and currently living in London. Walsh attended the same secondary school where both Roddy Doyle and Paul Mercier taught. Having written for the Dublin Youth Theatre, he moved to Cork where he wrote Fishy Tales for the Graffiti Theatre Company,...

  • Salvage by Diane Glancy
    Diane Glancy
    Diane Glancy was born in 1941 in Kansas City, Missouri. She is a Cherokee poet, author and playwright. Glancy was awarded a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Missouri in 1964, then later continued her education at the University of Central Oklahoma, earning her a Masters degree in English...

  • Windmill Baby (winner of the Patrick White Playwrights' Award
    Patrick White Playwrights' Award
    The Patrick White Playwrights' Award is an annual Australian literary award established jointly by the Sydney Theatre Company and The Sydney Morning Herald in honour of Patrick White's contribution to Australian theatre...

    ) by David Milroy and Ningali Lawford

Recent Dance Productions

  • Havana Rumba by Toby Gough
  • Dancing on Your Grave by Lea Anderson
    Lea Anderson
    Lea Anderson MBE is a British choreographer and artistic director. With Teresa Barker and Gaynor Coward, she co-founded The Cholmondeleys and The Featherstonehaughs dance companies, with which she has choreographed over 100 works....

    's Cholmodeleys and Featherstonehaughs
  • Mamootot by Batsheva Dance Company
    Batsheva Dance Company
    The Batsheva Dance Company is an internationally acclaimed dance company based in Tel Aviv, Israel. It was founded by Martha Graham and Baroness Batsheva De Rothschild in 1964....

Recent Comedy Productions

  • Rhod Gilbert
    Rhod Gilbert
    Rhodri "Rhod" Gilbert, is a Welsh comedian who was nominated in 2005 for the Perrier Best Newcomer Award. In 2008, he was nominated for the main if.comedy ....

    : Work In Progress
  • Bill Bailey
    Bill Bailey
    Bill Bailey is an English comedian, musician and actor. As well as his extensive stand-up work, Bailey is well known for his appearances on Black Books, Never Mind the Buzzcocks, Have I Got News for You, and QI.Bailey was listed by The Observer as one of the 50 funniest acts in British comedy in...

    : Tinselworm
  • Ed Byrne
    Ed Byrne
    Ed Byrne is a Perrier Award-nominated, Irish stand-up comedian, voice over artist and actor. He has presented television shows Uncut! Best Unseen Ads and Just for Laughs, and is a regular guest on various television panel games...

    : Different Class
  • Will Anderson
  • Count Arthur Strong: The Man Behind the Smile
  • Francois-Xavier Demaison: Demaison S'Envole
  • Russel Howard's Good News & Good News Extra


Riverside Studios is home to an independent cinema that screens an eclectic variety of independent and foreign language films. The cinema is also renowned for its double bill programmes and plays regular host to the London Taiwanese, Italian and Polish Film Festivals amongst others.


Tom Robinson
Tom Robinson
Tom Robinson is an English singer-songwriter, bassist and radio presenter, better known for the hits "Glad to Be Gay", "2-4-6-8 Motorway", and "Don't Take No for an Answer", with his Tom Robinson Band...

 hosts live recording sessions for his BBC6 radio show, show Introducing... in Studio 3.


External links

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