Selladoor Worldwide has announced further plans to bolster its rapid expansion with the launch of a multi-space theatre in south-east London as a springboard for West End shows and tours.
The theatre company is proposing to turn the Borough Halls in Greenwich into the Greenwich Festival Theatre, which it plans to open in 2021.
The company said it wants to model the theatre on producing venues such as the Almeida in London.
Selladoor said the new venue would have its own artistic leadership and development teams, and added that it would become a “launch pad for major tours, pre-West End and Broadway productions”.
The new theatre will have two spaces – a 650-seat main stage and a 240-seat flexible space.
Plans include a “rehearsal suite” in the basement, and an extension to the front of the building to allow for a two-storey brasserie for all-day dining.
There will also be a rooftop terrace for drinks and functions.
The plans follow Selladoor’s move into venue management for the first time last year, taking over the Queen’s Theatre in Barnstaple and the Landmark Theatre in Ilfracombe. It will also operate the Peterborough New Theatre – formerly the Broadway – from later this year.
The company has also announced plans for an office in Madrid.
Selladoor Worldwide chief executive David Hutchinson said the company had been operating in the borough of Greenwich for the past 10 years.
“The theatre will have its own artistic leadership as a producing and presenting house, with a year-round curated programme of events to build into the exhilarating London theatre ecosystem as the perfect space for launching daring, diverse and dynamic work,” he said.
“The Borough Halls is brilliantly placed and our plans aim to build into the already exhilarating cultural capital in the borough – building audiences, creating jobs and making Greenwich a destination for daytime and evening economies,” he added.
Chief financial officer Phillip Rowntree said the studio would become home to the recently launched Selladoor Creation division of the company – which commissions work from leading artists across the world.
He added this would give Greenwich the “opportunity to see the major productions of tomorrow, first”.
The Borough Halls was last leased to Greenwich Dance Agency until May 2018. Since then the venue has remained empty.