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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 September 2005, 17:57 GMT 18:57 UK
Replacement for Playhouse urged
Derby Playhouse
Derby Playhouse is housed inside a shopping mall
Celebrations to mark the 30th anniversary of Derby Playhouse on its present site have culminated in a call for a new theatre within 10 years.

Development director Geoff Sweeney said its current home is no longer suitable and it should be in a new building close to the river.

The present theatre in the Eagle Centre was opened by the 11th Duke of Devonshire in 1975.

Last year more than 100,000 people visited the venue.

Less viable

The late Derbyshire actor Sir Alan Bates was on stage when the theatre first opened its doors to the public on its present site 30 years ago.

Before then, since 1948, it was Derby Little Theatre, on a different site in the city.

Mr Sweeney said the present theatre was a victim of its own success and it had to move to a new, larger, venue because, with only 530 seats, it was becoming less viable.

He added: "The performing arts infrastructure in Derby, at present, is woefully inadequate."

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