Greenwich Playhouse company to go

Natalie Woolman

Galleon Theatre Company is to leave Greenwich Playhouse after more than 15 years in residence.

The Galleon Theatre Company, based at the Playhouse since 1995, has not had its lease renewed by landlords Beds and Bars. According to a statement released by the theatre, the Playhouse will close on April 10, following the company’s production of The Duchess of Malfi that runs until March 18.

Galleon’s artistic director Alice de Sousa said: “The Greenwich Playhouse and Galleon Theatre Company have over two decades made an immeasurable contribution to our capital’s cultural infrastructure. The Greenwich Playhouse is one of London’s most established small-scale theatres. The work shown at this critically acclaimed venue draws annually from all over the world and the immediate community many, many thousands of people.

“It is regrettable that the theatre’s landlord Beds and Bars, who has benefitted for 11 years from generous revenue generated by the theatre’s substantial trade, should have its sights focused on such short-term objectives as the Olympics.”

Galleon Theatre claims Beds and Bars has not renewed its lease in order to “exploit commercial opportunities offered by the Olympics”.

Beds and Bars says this is not the case. Edmund Passey, the company’s group operations director, said: “We recently purchased the freehold of the Greenwich property from our then-landlord Punch Pub Company and we just looked at maximising the efficiency of the space that we own. The lease was coming to its natural end.

“It’s not about the Olympics, it’s about having a significant chunk of property which we now own which was being operated by a third party which doesn’t happen anywhere else in our business.”

A statement issued by Beds and Bars said the space will be used “much in the same way as it is now” and that the company would like to see it used for all aspects of the arts.

Galleon Theatre Company is in discussions with Greenwich Council and is trying to find a new home within the borough.

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