To Be or Not to Be

We heard much about the demise of Greenwich Playhouse over the past few months. Apparently Galleon Theatre are looking at the stables at Charlton House as a new home, which could be an interesting proposition (though less convenient for people coming from London – it’s close to Charlton station but we all know what people who don’t come to South East London are like when it comes to not wanting to venture into places they’ve not heard of…)

Which means that now, there is a space free. And, as you can see, it’s very free. All mention of Greenwich Playhouse has been painted out, the posters are gone, there’s nothing to say there was ever a theatre there.

The reason I didn’t go absolutely ballistic over the ending of the lease with Galleon was this article in The Wharf where the landlord of Beds and Bars who own the building says that they are not looking to pack the place full of extra bunks to cash in on the Olympics. In the words of¬†Edmund Passey, Group Operations Director:

“We’re looking at what we can do with it and have made no application to change the space.

“The only difference is we’re now the landowners of the site and we’re not looking to have one theatre company running it.”

I took that as being a multi-theatre company venture, perhaps a theatre space for hire, like so many of the fringe theatres in the centre of London.

So,¬†Edmund Passey, when are we going to see this happen, then? Certainly the first phase, that of obliterating the former occupants of the theatre, seems complete (albeit harsh, they are as much a part of the place’s history as any other). The next few months will show the real colours of Beds and Bars but I have faith.

I look forward to sitting in the front (read ‘only’) row of the next production at the space formerly known as the Greenwich Playhouse as a lovely diversion for all the occupants of other hotels during the Olympics.


the attachments to this post:

Ex Greenwich playhouse 2
Ex Greenwich playhouse 2

2 Comments to “To Be or Not to Be”

  1. 16" East says:

    I suspect that they have a clear intention of what they are using the space for, and have known for some time. I guess they are waiting for the right time so that the new proposition can be separated from any sense of immediate loss from the demise of the theatre company’s residence.

  2. John Mills says:

    Hmmm. Interesting. The Theatres Trust have a statutory right to be consulted whenever a theatre is threatened with closure or a change of use and can intervene in any planning application. I’m not sure how long a building has to be continuously in use as a theatre before it qualifies but they’ll know.