Cabaret venue must raise £1m or risk closure

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Cabaret performances at arts centre Lauderdale House are at risk of being axed unless the venue can raise vital funds needed to redevelop its facilities.

Based in Waterlow Park in Highgate, London, Lauderdale House has hosted cabaret shows from performers such as Ramin Karimloo, Stephen Ashfield and Hadley Fraser.

However, its director Carolyn Naish told The Stage that unless the venue could raise the £1 million it needs to carry out its redevelopment plans – including new toilets and a new access point to the building – its arts programme would be at risk.

She explained that without renovations Lauderdale House, whose main source of income is from weddings and civil partnerships, would not be able to compete with other venues.

“We need to upgrade the house if we are going to be competitive. A lot of our money is earned from social events, so if we want to be competitive and remain so we need to bring in that money. If we don’t have a building we can sell, which will generate us an income, we won’t be able to support our arts programme,” she said.

Naish said Lauderdale House has championed new talent, and added that it has allowed new performers to have “their first attempt at cabaret”.

Under the plans for its redev­elopment, Lauderdale House will have a second entrance installed, which Naish described as “important” because the building currently has only one main door.

“The second entrance means we could use more of the house at the same time. At the moment, if we have an event downstairs, no one else can use the rest of the house,” she said.

Cabaret performances take place upstairs at the venue, and the plans would result in this space being redeveloped and soundproofed.

Naish said the centre had been unsuccessful in securing funding from Camden Council.

She revealed that Lauderdale House could close completely if it is unable to secure its financial future, which she said was dependant on the works being carried out.

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