Players’ fears as final curtain falls on theatre

TAKING A BOW Ben Tanner as Aladdin and Ben McCready as Widow Twankey at St Peter's. ''Picture: Sarah Standing (13149-6462)
TAKING A BOW Ben Tanner as Aladdin and Ben McCready as Widow Twankey at St Peter's. ''Picture: Sarah Standing (13149-6462)
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CAMPAIGNERS fighting the closure of a historic theatre say they fear their theatre groups will have to fold if nobody can help them with storage.

St Peter’s Theatre, in Fraser Road, Somers Town, has now been closed by St Peter’s Church, which owns the building.

As reported in The News, members of the Save St Peter’s Theatre Campaign want to run the 91-year-old venue as a community asset.

The church doesn’t plan to sell the building, but instead wants to find another use for it.

It announced its plans 18 months ago after realising the theatre wasn’t making any money.

The final production to be put on in the hall, Aladdin by The Phoenix Players, came to an end on Sunday.

William Dawson, 66, of Railway View in Fratton is part of the Save St Peter’s Theatre Campaign.

He said: ‘Sunday was an extremely emotional day.

‘Having spent so much of my life working at the theatre and raising money for it, I was in tears.

‘Every group that uses the hall now has to get its equipment out.

‘We’ve been trying to find places to store the equipment but we haven’t found anywhere and renting storage units is going to be too expensive.

‘I fear that many of 
the groups will have to 
fold and the equipment 
will just end up being dumped.’

The Rev Alex Hughes, vicar of St Peter’s Church, said: ‘They have had 18 months to do it and that time runs out at the end of February.

‘I am sure they have made other arrangements considering we told them 18 months ago.

‘We have two sets of church buildings in Somers Town and we can no longer afford to run all of that.

‘We are in the middle of a process of exploring what our best options are.’

The Save St Peter’s Theatre Campaign has asked the council to make the theatre a community asset.

This means that if it goes up for sale local people can put down an offer first.

If anyone can help the theatre groups with storage space for their equipment, call Mr Dawson on (023) 9282 7017.