Soho Theatre has announced plans to reposition itself as a playhouse, as it reveals it is moving to a producer-led model.
The changes follow the departure of former artistic director Steve Marmion and the restructuring of the venue’s leadership team.
Newly appointed creative director David Luff, who was promoted internally from his producer role, has outlined the main changes.
The venue’s main space will become a playhouse again, with longer six to eight week runs for shows and “high-profile casts”.
Asked whether this remodelling was a financial risk for the venue, he said: “I don’t think so, in some ways we will have more opportunities to fundraise against these programmes, as when we have a more clearly defined vision it’s easier to bring people on board.
“With regards to the main house, with all of our shows we have to be very mindful of expenditure. We have 160 seats, it’s not huge, but on the other hand we have a really strong team who can stretch resources, so we can make work on a slightly tighter budget than other theatres do. I’m also keen on co-productions.”
Speaking to Matt Trueman in a feature for The Stage, he said he would be “flattening the hierarchy of our creative team”.
“There still needs to be someone to report to the board, someone with a certain amount of executive say, but this is about taking a much more plural approach,” he said.
The theatre will now be programmed by Luff in collaboration with the venue’s associate directors Adam Brace and Lakesha Arie-Angelo, head of comedy Steve Lock, education producer Jules Haworth, assistant producer Holly DeAngelis and touring producer Sarah Dodd.
Luff said: “We realised a producer-led model could promote the diversity of voices on our stages.
“I don’t think it’s necessary to have this very visible artistic director speaking on behalf of everyone. It’s more exciting to promote the visibility of various members of staff doing brilliant things.”
He added he hoped this will increase the number of LGBTQ+ writers and writers of colour who are given a platform.