Selladoor Worldwide is taking over the operation of the former Broadway Theatre in Peterborough, and will relaunch the venue a year after a previous operator collapsed with alleged debts of more than £100,000.
Renamed the Peterborough New Theatre, the venue will open in September and become the third to be operated by Selladoor, which moved into venue management last year.
The theatre company, whose touring shows will open the inaugural programme, said it hoped to “produce and present quality diverse, daring and dynamic work” and make the theatre a venue of national importance.
The Broadway Theatre has had a chequered history. Most recently, its former management – Performance Art Ventures – went bust in August 2018, with producers and contractors claiming to be owed tens of thousands of pounds and more than £68,000 of business rates left unpaid.
A previous operator of the venue, Paul Coxwell, was jailed in 2014 for fraud after it was discovered that he owed more than £1 million to creditors including producers and the local council.
Selladoor will now take over the operation of the theatre. The building’s leaseholder, the Dawe Charitable Trust, has been running the theatre since PAV collapsed last year. Selladoor has now signed an underlease with the trust, which runs until 2034. Ownership of the site remains with Rinaldo Fasulo.
Selladoor chief executive David Hutchinson said he had been working with the trust since last year to find a viable future for the venue but conceded that its history presented some challenges.
He said: “We clearly have some work to build trust, following the unfortunate collapse of previous managers. We don’t underestimate that task. But we’re leading with a number of our own largest productions – one of which, Avenue Q, was a victim of the recent collapse. We have confidence that the Peterborough New Theatre can be a building of local and national importance.”
Alongside Selladoor’s Avenue Q, the inaugural programme will include its production of Madagascar the Musical. Visiting shows include Adam Spiegel Productions’ The Mousetrap and Prime Pantomime’s The Wizard of Oz.
Hutchinson added: “It’s clear that Peterborough deserves a number-one venue for larger-scale work. There is fantastic local support for this building and I am truly delighted to add the newly renamed Peterborough New Theatre to the Selladoor Venue portfolio.”
Selladoor began its expansion into venue management late last year when it took on the Landmark Theatre in Ilfracombe and the Queen’s Theatre in Barnstaple, which had previously closed when the trust that ran it went into administration in 2017.
Selladoor also programmes the Pavilion Theatre in Blackpool, which is being reopened in partnership with the Blackpool Entertainment Company.