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Plea to use Bradford Playhouse as group launches new scheme
Bradford’s famous Little Germany theatre will reopen its doors this month as a group of artists launches a last-ditch bid to save the troubled venue from closure.
The former Bradford Playhouse, which went into liquidation with historic debts of £300,000 last September, will begin a “new chapter” as the New Bradford Playhouse and will be unveiled during an open day on Friday, October 26.
Newly-formed Takeover Events & Theatre Ltd has struck a deal with liquidator Clough and Co to lease the Chapel Street building for the next six months, taking over from Be Wonderful Ltd, which had been acting as caretaker of the site since Bradford Playhouse entered liquidation.
Clare Gadsby, of the company, said it hoped to win enough support from the community to make a formal bid for the playhouse and secure its future at the end of its lease.
“We are trying to keep the doors open by bringing in as many people from the community as possible,” she said.
“It could be used for so many different purposes – from studios and gallery space for artists to venues for singing and dance classes. It’s an amazing building and we don’t want to see it go to waste. We hope this is the start of a new chapter.”
The playhouse – which was founded by amateur group the Bradford Playhouse Company in 1929 – includes three performance spaces, a 290-seat art deco proscenium arch stage, a 70-seat black box studio and a vintage coffee shop.
Mrs Gadsby said the new company had discussed its plans with Be Wonderful and had received a “fantastic response” from a number of organisations in Bradford, including Fabric.
But she warned: “We’re not coming in as saviours. We don’t have a massive budget and we can’t overhaul it overnight.
“What we can do is show people the potential the building does have.
“There’s been a positive vibe about what we’re trying to achieve, but we need the support of the community and look forward to hearing people’s ideas.”
You attend the open day, at 3pm, by contacting Mrs Gadsby on (01274) 308727 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
For details see: www.thenewbradfordplayhouse.co.uk