Underbelly granted permission to build Marble Arch theatre

The Marble Arch island, the site of Underbelly's planned temporary theatre. Photo: Wikimedia
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A new temporary theatre is to be built in Marble Arch, after council bosses gave plans the green light.

Westminster Council’s planning approval means entertainment company Underbelly can build a 650-seat Spiegeltent next to the Marble Arch monument in central London, which will be in use for nine months from April.

Plans for the temporary theatre were first mooted last year and were proposed for Victoria Embankment Gardens next to the Thames. However, the application was withdrawn after objections.

The new theatre, which will be next to Hyde Park, will stage Underbelly’s production of the musical Five Guys Named Moe.

Underbelly said it was “delighted” at the news that the plans had been approved and added: “We look forward to announcing further information about our plans in the coming weeks.”

The venue marks an expansion of Underbelly’s operations in London. It already runs Udderbelly Festival and London Wonderground on the South Bank and last year hosted a Spiegeltent in Leicester Square over Christmas. The company is also known for its work at the Edinburgh Fringe.

Welcoming the proposals, senior planning chairman Richard Beddoe said: “The council is committed to bringing exciting events like this to Westminster. Five Guys Named Moe will be a huge draw for the area, generating a terrific atmosphere and giving local businesses a boost.

“Underbelly has been creating spectacular entertainment to the streets of our city for several years and we’re delighted to welcome them to Marble Arch for Five Guys Named Moe.”