Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Angry Stars Save Theatres from Closure

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Angry Stars Save Theatres from Closure

Article excerpt

Byline: LOUISE JURY

(1) Dramatic victory: Dame Judi Dench and Daniel Radcliffe were among the stars protesting at planned Arts Council cuts(2) Show goes on: the Bush Theatre has been saved after a campaign by theatre stars including Dame Judi Dench, Sir Ian McKellen and Daniel Radcliffe. Campaigners said the theatre's significance as a nursery for generations of writers meant it had to keep its full grant(3) Reprieve: Richmonds Orange Tree theatre has a trainee directors programme

LONDON'S Bush Theatre was saved today after a massive campaign bytheatre stars angered at plans to axe its public funding.

The tiny venue in Shepherd's Bush was one of a handful of bodies to be savedfrom Arts Council cuts in a last-minute U-turn.

A proposed reduction of [pounds sterling]180,000 in its [pounds sterling]480,000 grant prompted protests fromactors including Dame Judi Dench, Sir Ian McKellen and Daniel Radcliffe.

The campaignhighlighted by the Evening Standardwas also backed by playwrights Harold Pinter and Tom Stoppard who said thetheatre is an important nursery for generations of writers from StephenPoliakoff to Catherine Johnson who wrote the West End hit Mamma Mia! The OrangeTree Theatre in Richmond is also believed to have been reprieved. But on D-dayfor the 53 organisations in London that faced wipe-out in the cuts, others arestill facing an uncertain future. Tara Arts, which specialises in south-eastAsian theatre, the Watermans arts centre in Brentford, the Drill

Hall in central London, which profiles lesbian and gay arts and Bubble, apopular theatre company in south London, are understood to have failed toconvince in their appeals that they warrant further public subsidy. Some havebeen funded for years but all face only weeks to find alternative supportbefore grants are axed from 1 April. Of the 194 organisations facing a totalcut, the Standard understands just 18 have been saved as a result of theappeals procedure. As the full picture emerges, it is possible that somewinners will prove as contentious as the losers.

The Royal Opera House is understood to have secured an uplift while itstroubled rival, English National Opera, has been challenged to prove its worth. …

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