A New Purpose-Built Theatre for Greenwich

Blimey – if this comes about Galleon Theatre will have fallen on their feet and no mistake. If you recall, they were booted out of their old home, the Playhouse, last spring by a landlord who told the newspapers he was going to put on shows himself then, as everyone had suspected, just filled it full of bunk beds to cash in on the Olympics.

Well,  the pic at the top of this post is the plan for a new, purpose-built, 110-seater studio theatre in Greenwich. Apparently there are already ‘advanced discussions with a nationwide builder’ going on, as part of a Section 106 agreement.

The Gallion guys don’t say where it’s going to be though they do say “within a few minutes walking distance on Greenwich High Road”, so I’m assuming it will be up the other end, nearer Deptford Bridge DLR, where all the demolition’s going on just now.

I’m told they need two things for this to happen – for Greenwich Council to approve this as a suitable 106 project, and to raise about £250,000 towards the cost (though I thought that was what 106s were all about…) Nick Raynsford (who, as we all know, is Mr Building Trade) thinks it’s doable through one-off capital cost applications. I’m not entirely sure what that is – I’m guessing it’s those things the government tried to tax a couple of months ago and had to U-turn on.

The details are sketchy at the moment – but if it comes off, I think this sounds exciting (and if it’s purpose-built it will be hard to turn into dormitories later…)

I don’t know – first a recital hall in Vanbrugh Hill, now a studio theatre – whatever next – an opera house in Millennium Village? A corps de ballet in Traf Road? Un salon de philosophie at Phantom Towers?


PS. If you lodged a complaint about Beds & Bars turning the Playhouse into a dormitory and your name isn’t here please let Galleon know: alice@galleontheatre.co.uk

the attachments to this post:

playhouse proposal
playhouse proposal

5 Comments to “A New Purpose-Built Theatre for Greenwich”

  1. Peter Clarke says:

    An absolutely fantastic idea. The Greenwich Theatre on Crooms Hill is a disgrace and was always outshone by the Playhouse. So lets all hope that this happens. It will be a great addition to the arts in borough, of which if you think about it, there are none. Every visitor attraction in this borough (Cutty Sark, Maritime Museum, Observatory etc, etc) are not funded by out rubbish and impotent council and it would be good sense to close the Theatre and invest funding into this new venue.

  2. Bruce Jamieson says:

    Thank you for your comments. As one of the directors of Galleon Theatre Company, all efforts will be made to make this work.

  3. Gretchen Thanes says:

    Presumably this means that the ‘old theatre’ will be demolished? Perhaps a good starting point would be ‘what is wrong with the old theatre?’ Why the mania to demolish every single 1960s building in the vain belief that anything which screams 21st century is, be definition, an improvement? It’s the same misguided belief which will see Ladywell Leisure Centre demolished to be replaced by a ‘new fit for purpose’ facility with a pool smaller than the one it is replacing. But it will look new, so that’s OK then.

  4. Gretchen – I think we’re talking at cross-purposes here. We are not talking about Greenwich Theatre, which is still going strong – a fine 1960s interior to an old Victorian theatre. We’re talking about Greenwich Playhouse, a fringe theatre that used to be housed in the building currently known as Belushis next door to the station. That was closed earlier this year to be turned, controversially, into hostel accommodation, but no actual demolition is taking place.

  5. mike taylor says:

    What would be a better idea would be to demolish ‘Belushis Bar’. An utterly vile bar and hostel that spoils the gateway to Greenwich and turns the High Street into a trouble zone of the weekend. I hope the theatre do open up soon as the only reason for Belushis (naff name naff bar)to exist was the theatre upstairs.