The Dubai couple behind the world’s only free theatre
We wanted to have a home for the performing arts community in Dubai and built the most beautiful small theatre from a warehouse in Al Quoz. It’s the only free theatre in the world (we don’t charge for any of our performances and our revenue stream is derived from corporates who use us for training staff).
The Courtyard Theatre is one of only a handful of purpose-built, dedicated improv theatres worldwide, and has an auditorium seating 58 – we also have beanbag seating for our packed improv and comedy nights.
We broadcast London’s National Theatre Live, the Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company and the Royal Shakespeare Company from London, and we have three shows a week on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, which we produce.
We’ve funded the project with our own savings and the help of family loans, community crowd-funding and two wonderful partners, Richard and Louisa Coates.
We wanted to create an environment for local talent to develop and thrive, and somewhere artists, writers, directors and community groups could afford to hire and not have to compromise artistically to sell tickets.