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Bloomsbury Theatre forced to close after asbestos find

Bloomsbury Theatre at University College London. Photo: Frankie Roberto Bloomsbury Theatre at University College London. Photo: Frankie Roberto
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Bloomsbury Theatre in London has closed for major construction work four months earlier than planned due to asbestos in the building.

The theatre was scheduled to close from January to June next year for major construction work. However, minor building works taking place over the summer dark period have disturbed asbestos in the venue.

In response, the theatre’s owner University College London brought forward the planned closure so the theatre can reopen on time in summer 2016.

Staff are working with production companies to find new venues for shows affected by the closure, which include the touring stage adaptation of David Walliams’ Gangsta Granny and a fundraiser for charity Arts Emergency.

A statement from UCL read: “In line with UCL’s stringent processes to manage asbestos, a full clean has been ordered.

It continues: “The theatre was due to close for major construction work from January 2016 until the summer. The recent developments and the complexity of the work mean that the works will take longer than anticipated. We have therefore brought forward the closure to be effective from now, to allow us to keep the planned reopening, scheduled for summer 2016.

“We apologise for the inconvenience caused and are working hard to ensure that performances can resume as soon as possible.”

Although the theatre’s main auditorium is now closed, the recently opened Studio will continue programming as normal.

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