Hampstead Theatre renews commitment to new writing

The board of Hampstead Theatre in North London has put out a statement regarding its commitment to new writing.

The statement follows the news last week that Roxana Silbert is stepping down as Hampstead’s artistic director because of the Arts Council’s funding cuts to the venue.

Hampstead’s statement outlines future plans for the theatre, with an ambition to keep the theatre open and continue to create original theatre, and to “challenge, influence and shape the future of British Theatre”.

The 100% funding cuts have prompted Hampstead Theatre to find a new business model, and their short-term plan is to, “fulfil its commitment to the season of new plays programmed in the Downstairs space and to reconfigure the main stage and transfer some of those plays to the larger auditorium”, to continue their INSPIRE programme, “to support new writers, currently funded until March 2024 under Roy Williams, which supports up to 15 playwrights annually”, and also to seek “significant, immediate support from funders and to apply to Arts Council England for transition funding to see the theatre through this period while it develops a new business model.”

In the longer term, the venue is seeking to curate a programme of work that is made up of both new writing and contemporary, presumably already established, plays, and to refocus the Downstairs venue for new writing. Also to continue to support new writers through their INSPIRE programme, financed by box office takings, philanthropic support, co-production and independent finance.

The statement concludes that: “The success will be to see Hampstead Theatre continue as a creative hub where writers, directors and all theatre-makers can flourish without fear of success or failure. A leading producing house in London’s dynamic theatre ecology, making a completely unique contribution to the London, UK, and the international theatre scene.”

👤 📅13 December 2022
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📷 Main photo: Hampstead Theatre. Photo courtesy of Hampstead Theatre

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