Arts Theatre Threat

By Rob Last edited 227 months ago
Arts Theatre Threat

The Arts Theatre in the West End (the one near the Photographer's Gallery around the corner from Leicester Square tube) is at the moment battling to stay alive.

The theatre was the first London home to the Royal Shakespeare Company and was where Waiting for Godot got its UK debut, but right now its owners are trying to have the place demolished in order to redevelop the surrounding buildings as "higher value commercial property for hotel and office use".

The theatre may close as early as August if it can't find a way to turn itself round and become a "viable commercial and artistic enterprise".

To make things worse, current production Immodesty Blaize and Walter's Burlesque! has suffered from bad reviews, and the whole building is apparently in "an advanced state of disrepair".

One ray of hope may be come from the annals of Westminster City Council's planning laws which are designed to preserve the building for theatre use. But, unfortunately, the worry is that if the owners want to build their hotel, then they'll probably find a loophole big enough to build it with.

Last Updated 27 May 2005