Big news! OperaUpClose have moved digs. For the last two years we have been based in beautiful Frederick’s Place, a five story Georgian townhouse designed by the Adams brothers and where a young Benjamin Disraeli plied his trade in the early 19th century. These days it’s owned by the Mercers’ Company who have been offering us subsidised office space, on the understanding that they planned to redevelop the building in January 2017 and we would have to make other arrangements then.
Fear not, reader, we have! This week we’ve moved into the super sexy Pill Box, in Bethnal Green. Originally built in 1874 by pharmaceutical giants of the day Allen & Hanburys (first manufacturers of cod liver oil in Great Britain, don’t y’know), the building was a factory in which galenical preparations, pills, tablets, capsules were prepared, hence it’s modern day name The Pill Box.
Much of the administrative and scientific side of the business were also carried out there, which included research, analytical control, chemistry, pharmacy and pharmacology. The plant also produced an unparalleled array of medical equipment and surgical instruments, mainly in stainless steel, including operating tables for St Barts Hospital, and the Cromwell House Super Sensitive Baby Scale.
Allen & Hanburys were bought by GlaxoSmithKline in 1958 and sadly the factory closed in the 1960s. Now the building’s buzzing with all sorts of creative companies. Our new neighbours include music studios, architects, film makers, fashion designers, lighting designers, digital marketing agencies, graphic designers and lots more. There’s also an award winning café/bar/restaurant with a ping pong table - lunches will never be the same again.
We’re throwing an office-warming party in January for OperaUpClose friends. Check your email for an invitation.
We’re all very excited here about our new lodgings, and are looking forward to become part of the arts scene in Bethnal Green (let us know if you’re local!).
For now, we’ve got boxes to unpack, and walls to decorate, so back to it.