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Last Updated: Thursday, 14 July, 2005, 12:29 GMT 13:29 UK
Plug pulled on black theatre plan
Talawa Theatre Company
A recent Talawa production put High Heel Parrotfish on stage
Plans to build the UK's first black theatre centre have stalled after millions of pounds worth of essential funding was pulled by the Arts Council.

The organisation said it withdrew 4m from the Talawa Theatre company's scheme due to "organisational weakness and financial viability".

Talawa, which has been in existence for 21 years, said they were "disappointed and dismayed" with the decision.

The Arts council say they will redirect the funds to help black theatre.

A report into the best way of funding a theatre in the future has been commissioned by the organisation.

'Uncertain future'

The stalled plan was to have built a new theatre centre on an existing site close to London's Victoria station.

Talawa have said they are seeking clarification from the Arts Council about their decision, which will put "the entire project in jeopardy".

The group says it remains "fully committed" to developing a permanent home for black theatre in the UK, but added it "faces an uncertain future".

The Arts Council said that they were also uncertain about the artistic and business plans of the proposed project.

Actor and playwright Kwame-Kwei Armah said: "A theatrical landscape without Talawa is totally unthinkable and undesirable and one that I would never want to see."

A further 1.8m of Lottery funding from the Millennium Commission and additional funding from the London Development Agency was to finance the theatre.

The project was predicted to cost 9.31m in total.


SEE ALSO:
City theatre to get 12m rebuild
07 Jun 05 |  Northern Ireland
City spends millions on culture
04 Apr 05 |  Merseyside
MPs condemn arts funding freeze
23 Mar 05 |  Entertainment
Jude Law defends theatre company
19 Mar 05 |  Entertainment


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