Greenwich Theatre staff 'delighted' at 12 months council funding

Four Poofs and a Piano performed at Greenwich Theatre in 2011

Executive and artistic director James Haddrell

First published in News
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News Shopper: Photograph of the Author by , reporter

Staff at Greenwich Theatre are "delighted" after gaining another 12 months funding to continue their national arts programme.

The theatre, in Crooms Hill, was backed by Greenwich Council with £259,000 funding which helps cover staff costs and utility bills.

News Shopper: Executive and artistic director James Haddrell

Executive and artistic director James Haddrell says the continued backing reflects the "diversity" and "approach" of the site, which supports young theatre companies across the country and runs Greenwich Children’s Theatre Festival.

He said: "We're proud and delighted to receive the funding from the council at a fixed rate - so there are no cuts.

"I think it's a ringing endorsement of the work we've been doing in recent years, especially when so many arts organisations around the country are suffering cuts.

"The arts aren't just about leisure - they support quality of life, health, wellbeing, local economies and social regeneration."

Mr Haddrell added: "I also think the council's continued funding results from the diversity of our work and overall approach."

The theatre picked up an award for a new children’s show at the Edinburgh Fringe last year where Mr Haddrell was also shortlisted for theatre manager of the year.

He said: "What makes our theatre so special is its layout.

"The sight lines are great, children can see over adults - and it has wonderful acoustics.

"We do a lot of work with schools and there's a real wow factor when children enter the theatre, often for the first time.

"Coming to Greenwich Theatre really is a magical experience for them."

The fate of the nearby Woolwich Grand Theatre, which had been recommended for demolition, is due back before a Greenwich Council planning board soon after it was given a surprise deferral earlier this month.

Greenwich Theatre's future is itself unclear at the moment under Greenwich Council’s Cultural Asset Review which explores the fate of the borough’s cultural buildings.

Options include the improvement of one or both Greenwich Theatre and the Borough Halls, or the theatre company moving into a jointly-run and redeveloped Borough Halls.

Mr Haddrell said: "To date no final decision has been made as to which plan will be selected."

To find out more about Greenwich Theatre visit greenwichtheatre.org.uk

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