Beleaguered venue the Broadway Theatre in Peterborough is once again in the spotlight, after its current operator went bust due to an “unrecoverable financial difficulty”.
Performance Art Ventures, which is run by director Mark Ringer, attributed the financial difficulties to a combination of low ticket sales, the heatwave, the holiday period and an internal technical fault.
The Broadway Theatre is owned by Rinaldo Fasulo and leased to the Dawe Charitable Trust, which has been subletting the venue to Performance Art Ventures.
Dawe Charitable Trust will take over as the new management company for the theatre. Both Ringer and Dawe were involved in the bid to lease the venue from Fasulo and reopen the theatre back in 2017, following a period of closure.
A statement posted on Performance Art Ventures’ Facebook page said: “Despite PAV’s best efforts, the company made a substantial loss over the past eight weeks and has not been able to meet its financial commitments to its landlords and has been forced to cease trading.
“A combination of low ticket sales, a heatwave, the holiday period and a two-week outage of all internal comms due to a technical fault beyond our control all conspired to send the company into unrecoverable financial difficulty.”
The statement confirmed that no events have yet been cancelled, except for a film season, but that Performance Arts Ventures will inform the public of any changes within the next few days.
It added that the new management company has vowed to keep the Broadway Theatre operational until at least 2020.
Peter Dawe, trustee to the Dawe Charitable Trust, told the Peterborough Telegraph that the Dawe Charitable Trust was taking possession of the lease.
He said: “Mark’s strategy of filling the venue with a big and diverse programme was not matched by a sufficient audience to cover it.
“Within the business we could not see him turning it around so we reluctantly decided to terminate his management of the theatre.
“As of Monday the Dawe Charitable Trust will take possession of the lease. It will continue operating but as a venue for hire rather than as a place for promoting.”
The Broadway Theatre has had a chequered past. It closed in 2009 following a suspected arson attack and remained dark until early 2011.
The venue reopened under a new company called StageLive, but closed in August 2011 with producers and suppliers left owed hundred of thousands of pounds.
It reopened in 2013 for a short period, with an 11-week season programmed by Bill Kenwright Ltd, one of the producers left owed money when the theatre closed in 2011. Kenwright staged another season in 2015, before Dawe and Ringer, who previously ran unsuccessfully to be the first elected mayors of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, leased it from owner Fasulo in 2017.