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Found111 producer Emily Dobbs begins hunt for new pop-up venue

Found111's current home in the former Central Saint Martins building in Charing Cross Road and (inset) Emily Dobbs Found111's current home in the former Central Saint Martins building in Charing Cross Road and (inset) Emily Dobbs
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Producer Emily Dobbs is planning a new a new pop-up theatre venue to replace Found111, which will close after its forthcoming production.

Found111, based in the former Central Saint Martins school of art building in London, will close when Sam Shepard’s Fool for Love comes to an end on December 17.

Redevelopment work begins on the building, owned by Soho Estates, in January.

However, Dobbs said she was on the hunt for a new pop-up venue in London, which she said would use the Found name, adjusted according to the door number of the building she ends up leasing.

She said she was looking for a space which she could have a longer lease on and added: “It would still be a pop-up theatre, as the essence of what I want to create is what Found111 is. It feels vital and urgent.”

Dobbs claims she wants somewhere artists can create work “very immediately in a space”, with the commerciality of having well-known names in a production, replicating the success of Found111 in the new space.

“That combination is what works and what I want to maintain. Having a pop-up space without the commerciality is not as interesting to me, or vice versa,” she said.

Although Dobbs has been looking for a new space, she is yet to find one. She said she hoped to be up and running in a new venue by the end of next year.

“Central St Martins was a blank canvass but the history of the art school fed into it. I have not found anywhere that has that history or background, which needs to be part of the work,” she told The Stage.

She added that the space would remain in London.

“Being surrounded by West End theatres but having a weird rabbit hole venue is exciting to me,” she said.

Dobbs also revealed that the Found brand could be extended to other pop-up spaces outside of her planned new theatre venue. She said this could include an art gallery or a circus space.

For her next theatre, the producer said she was hoping to work with a similar body to Soho Estates, claiming that her new Found venture would need subsidy in “some way, shape or form”.

She is urging anyone who owns or knows of disused spaces in London to get in touch.

Dobbs has staged venues in Found111 for a year, beginning with The Dazzle, starring Andrew Scott, last December.