The Hope Theatre

Matthew was Artistic Director of The Hope Theatre, Islington from 2014 to 2019 in which time he was named Best Artistic Director at the OFFIE Awards 2017. Throughout his tenure Matthew curated innovative seasons from established theatre companies and new voices as well as directed 10 in-house productions all of which put the little theatre with BIG ideas on the Off West End map. 

Although The Hope Theatre received no public subsidy, it was the first Off West End venue to open with a house agreement with Equity, the UK’s largest performers union, to ensure a legal wage for all actors, stage managers and box office staff working at the theatre. 

Matthew directed 10 shows during his time as Artistic Director. His first in-house production was the critically acclaimed, double OFFIE Award winning European premiere of Lovesong of the Electric Bear in 2015, which later transferred to The Arts, West End. 2016 launched the first in-house season of 3 productions, all under the direction of Matthew. Sea Life by Lucy Catherine, Steel Magnolias (winner of the Critic’s Choice Break A Leg awards for Best Off West End Production 2016) and Her Aching Heart, a queer musical by Bryony Lavery. The theatre finished 2016 with a record 11 OFFIE award nominations including 2 Best Director nominations for Matthew for Sea Life and Her Aching Heart, 16 appearances in Best Shows of 2016 lists and was shortlisted as Fringe Theatre of the Year at The Stage Awards.

In May 2017 The Hope staged the 40th anniversary revival of Dennis Potter’s controversial masterpiece Brimstone & Treacle. The production once more garnered a staggering amount of 5 star reviews and 2 OFFIE Award nominations. The world premiere of Robin Hooper’s Foul Pages followed in Feb 2018 and a multi ★★★★★ revival of Ionesco’s absurdist classic The Lesson in Sept 2018 for which Matthew received his fifth Best Director OFFIE award nomination. In 2019 Matthew directed a revival of true-crime musical Thrill Me: The Leopold & Loeb Story which gained 7  ★★★★★ reviews and 3 OFFIE Award nominations going on to win Best Actor in a Musical for both actors in the show at the 2020 OFFIE Awards. Matthew’s final in-house show was dark comic-drama The House Of Yes which gave Matthew his sixth OFFIE Best Director nomination as well as a Best Director nomination at the London Pub Theatres Standing Ovation Awards. 

In 2019 The Hope was the winner of the Best Social Media Presence & Activity OFFIE Award, which was voted for by the public. 

The Hope Theatre transferred three productions to the West End; Ushers to the Charing Cross Theatre, 46 Beacon to the Trafalgar Studios and Snoo Wilson’s Lovesong Of The Electric Bear to The Arts. It won 2 Off West End Awards for its first in-house production Lovesong of the Electric Bear (2016) and has been home to many world premieres including the professional world premiere.

For more info and to see the work of The Hope please visit the website