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Hampstead Theatre to invest £1m in new writing

Edward Hall at Hampstead Theatre, London. Photo: Helen Maybanks Edward Hall at Hampstead Theatre, London. Photo: Helen Maybanks
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Hampstead Theatre is to inject £1 million into the commissioning of new plays, in a push described by artistic director Edward Hall as an “investment in the future of theatre”.

The theatre has already raised £500,000 towards the initiative, with commissioning of the new work already underway.

Speaking about the investment, Hall explained: “Britain has an undisputed reputation as the source of some of the greatest writing in the world, and this financial injection of life into the commissioning landscape will support the enormous pool of talent that we enjoy.”

He added that the money brings “significant private commissioning money into the subsidised theatre sector”, and said it would help the venue continue with its aim to find and make “world-class theatre” that is entertaining and original.

Since Hall and executive producer Greg Ripley-Duggan took over the running of Hampstead Theatre in 2010, it has produced 55 new plays and presented the UK premieres of a further 17.

Half of the £500,000 already raised has been given by arts charity AKO Foundation, which is matching funding raised by the theatre up to the value of £500,000.

Its founder Nicolai Tangen said: “In these uncertain financial times, I am delighted that the AKO Foundation is able to contribute to the vibrant landscape of new writing in the excellent hands of Edward Hall and Greg Ripley-Duggan, whose programming, especially when it comes to championing new work, has brought unprecedented success to the theatre.”

He continued: “I hope that the foundation’s endowment will build on that momentum as Hampstead continues to seek and encourage fresh discovery to entertain as wide an audience as possible.”

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