If you thought that Deptford's sole claim to theatrical fame was that Christopher Marlowe was murdered there, you'd be wrong. It is also the home of the Albany Theatre, one of London's most exciting theatrical spaces. A huge, galleried arena beneath a dome, it was a dream realised by the pioneering spirit of the arts organisation The Combination, made possible by enlightened GLC arts funding. With the demise of the GLC, it ground to a halt in 1991, a shadow of its former self.

Phoenix-like, it rises again this Friday with (appropriately enough) an enormous firework display heralding an anarchic evening of circus, cabaret and music including stilt-dancing, Amsterdam's famous Human Jukebox and free dinner, with the celebrations continuing until 24 Sept.

As Judith Hibberd has proved at Watermans Arts Centre, you don't have to be in the centre of town to run a successful venue. Andrew Broadley has taken over as the Albany Theatre's development co-ordinator. 'We are doing as much as we can about opening the doors. The nearest model is the Theatre Royal, Stratford East. It operates on both a local and London-wide level. Even if they're just coming in to use the bar, local people don't have a problem coming on through the doors.' With everything from a panto from London Bubble to a dance residency from New York's Urban Bush Women already set up, chances are they'll be flocking in.

'The Feast' (below) is at the Albany Theatre from 16 Sept (081-692 4446)

(Photograph omitted)