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Croydon Warehouse Theatre closure? [Audio]

Doors about to close on Warehouse Theatre pic: Stephanie Davies

The once prestigious Warehouse Theatre, located in East Croydon and forced into administration earlier this month, faces imminent closure due to a lack of funding.

Following funding cuts from the Arts Council last year and more recently a U-turn on proposed finances from Croydon Council, the Board were left with no alternative but to seek administrative advice. Sunday’s performance may be its last.  Croydon’s arts community faces yet another blow.

Members of the theatre say they plan to appeal. But Annie Richards from Streatham, who has worked at the theatre since December 2009, is less hopeful about the venue’s future.

Speaking to East London Lines, she gives her response to the news of the imminent closure of the theatre and also spoke of her concerns about her job:

 

A spokesman from Croydon Council told East London Lines: “We are disappointed to hear that the Warehouse Theatre has gone into administration. We hope that they will be successful in raising alternative sources of funding and we have offered our support in this endeavour. If the Warehouse is unable to survive then we will aim to restore studio theatre to Croydon as part of the re-modelling of the Fairfield Halls.”

Ted Craig, the Artistic Director of the Warehouse Theatre, told East London Lines about the reasons for the impending closure of the theatre. He remains hopeful, and spoke about the campaign to save the theatre set up by its members:

 

Final show at Warehouse Theatre

Warehouse Theatre Box Office pic: Stephanie Davies

The production currently on stage at the Warehouse Theatre – Call Mr. Robeson has been allowed to run until the end of its schedule on Sunday May 20, 2012. The play follows the life of Paul Robeson, an African-American singer and self-confessed communist. It has been well received by theatre members and employees alike. The message behind the play, one of perseverance and standing up for your rights in the face of adversity, seems to have some significance for the theatre in the words of Tayo Aluko, who wrote and performs the play.

Video courtesy of Tayo Aluko

Aluko said that once it was confirmed that the play “Call Mr. Robeson” would run until its final show at the Warehouse Theatre on May 20 – he pledged to donate the showing’s proceeds to fund the theatre’s survival.

The play has received a very positive response in the theatre with one member of staff saying she was glad the theatre would close with such a brilliant play as its last. Aluko has vowed to bring “Call Mr. Robeson” to the Warehouse again, should the theatre successfully reopen.

Listen to Tayo Aluko’s full interview with East London Lines here:

 

For tickets to what seems to be its final show, contact the Warehouse Theatre.

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