London’s Theatre N16 faces closure threat in redevelopment plan

London’s Theatre N16 is under threat after being told it must seek a new home after the owners of its pub HQ announced redevelopment plans.

The theatre must vacate this December after nearly 180 productions, and over 28,000 audience members through the door since moving to The Bedford pub, Bedford Hill, in 2015.

Theatre N16 was set up in 2015 to be a stomping ground for new companies and a place to try out new work, offering affordable deals on rehearsal and performance space.

It has offered a ground-breaking, risk-free deal to all companies, which 95% of guests have taken, guaranteeing that creatives do not leave our space owing the venue money.

This is all under the auspices of an Equity Fringe Agreement, with Theatre N16 one of the few London venues to have signed up to the deal to guarantee pay to all creatives working for the venue.

Within this structure, Theatre N16 has offered performance space to 110 new writers, with over 200 first credits for new and young performers, and 42 productions transferring into other venues all over the world.

In reaction to industry issues, they have started encouraging and promoting more successfully for female directors and writers, and worked hard to find productions and casting processes that favour BAME performers.

Executive director Jamie Eastlake said: “I was sick to death of watching theatre companies get ripped off under business models that relied on funding the theatre first.

“Instead, we kept finding new innovative ideas to keep a space open.

“The fringe is the lifeblood of theatre. Having good solid fringe theatre models is what creates new work and new artists and feeds the West End.“

Now, the new owners of The Bedford have decided to redevelop the pub.

The theatre is looking for a new home, to continue their model of offering affordable space to give creatives a first rung on the ladder.

Jamie Eastlake added: “This is a call to arms. We have to find somewhere – and we need help”.

Email jamie@theatren16.co.uk if you know of a suitable space or are interested in becoming a patron of the theatre to help the company find a new venue.

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