Hull theatre company to open a pioneering recycled play space at London’s Southbank Centre this summer

Part installation, part adventure playground, REPLAY is a space built entirely out of waste materials, repurposed for fun by The Herd Theatre.

Image credit: Pete Woodhead

Hull-based theatre company The Herd have been commissioned by the Southbank Centre to create REPLAY, an exciting new play installation for children aged 0-11 and their families, made entirely out of recycled and reused materials.

In the midst of London’s most vibrant cultural quarter on the South Bank of the Thames, the critically acclaimed Hull-based company will open their biggest project to date. Artist Sam Caseley says: “We’re thrilled to bring our work to this stage that’s hosted some of the biggest artists, musicians and writers working internationally. This summer we’re alongside artists and activists like Greta Thunberg and Mikaela Loach.”

Part adventure playground, part installation, REPLAY encourages children and grown-ups to play side-by-side – building, making, imagining, dressing up, creating, designing, inventing and much more.

With a design that ignites imaginations, a score composed from recycled sounds and a unique crowdsourced play generator providing ideas for play, REPLAY is a celebration of play and highlights the importance of dedicated playful spaces for children and their grownups.

Artist Ruby Thompson says: “This is a new venture for The Herd, we’re putting children and their families’ imagination at the centre of the experience. Anything can happen. I’ve loved working with children and families in Hull and London to develop the work, and cannot wait to see the public play with it.”

Commissioned by the Southbank Centre as part of their Planet Summer season, every part of the installation will be built from materials that would otherwise go in the bin or sit in storage for years. Materials have been saved from theatres, events, exhibitions and factories.

Artist Rūta Irbīte says: “The process of creating the space has been about seeing what waste there is out there, then incorporating it into the design. It’s a completely new way of creating a design – of adaptation rather than making new.”

REPLAY hopes to inspire adults in reassessing what our idea of waste is, as well as what can be defined as a ‘toy’.

The project is a collaboration between Theatre Director Ruby Thompson (SLIME, Southbank Centre), Theatre Designer Rūta Irbīte (We Could All be Perfect, Sheffield Theatres) and Writer and Composer Sam Caseley (Ducklings, Royal Exchange).