London’s newest fringe space, the Twickenham Theatre, is closing after staging its acclaimed revival of the Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler musical Sweeney Todd. The production played its final sold-out performance of an extended opening season just yesterday at the 100-seat theatre in west London.
Today, executive director, West End producer Tony Green, has just two days to vacate the London Road premises after the pub was sold in a move he calls a “total bombshell”.
“I have been advised that the pub has been sold and that the new landlords ‘do not figure theatre as part of their plans’,” he said. “To make matters worse, the new landlords, along with the brewery and the superior landlords of the site, are not going to honour the three months’ notice period I had in place.”
Green is now actively seeking new premises in the area, where he has lived for 25 years. Opening a dedicated theatre space in Twickenham had long been a dream of his. “I wanted to create a dedicated performance arts space in Twickenham, and that’s exactly what I did. I am not disheartened by the recent news because the success of Sweeney Todd informs me there is indeed a market in the area for a fringe space which produces quality productions. So it means there will be a pause in delivering on the goal whilst we go out and find somewhere else.”
The theatre’s inaugural season was an intimate in-house production of Sweeney Todd starring Olivier Award winner David Bedella in the title role and Sarah Ingram as his pie-making partner in crime, Mrs Lovett. It was an instant success, with every ticket sold, included extra performances added to the schedule.
Green said when he opened the venue: “Twickenham has not had any arts and entertainment venues available to production companies for over 250 years. By offering a new dedicated venue for quality theatre and other entertainment we can give locals the opportunity to experience some of the West End on their doorstep – and Londoners a reason to come to Twickenham.”
Readers may also be interested in:
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street – Twickenham Theatre – Review