Monday, March 05, 2012

A Double Tragedy: The Duchess of Malfi at the Greenwich Playhouse

I love to attend London  Fringe Theatre performances in return for writing reviews and I'm especially happy to attend press nights at the Greenwich Playhouse. Over the past 17 years or so I've seen many excellent European classics in the inimate studio setting of the 80-seater theatre above a pub.

The Prince of Orange, as it used to be called, was located next to  Greenwich Rail and DLR stations.   The Galleon Theatre Company, under partners Alice de Sousa and Bruce Jamieson, who  undertook acting roles, directed and translated plays, guaranteed a modestly priced but thoroughly enjoyable night out.

The name of the venue is now Belushi's, no longer pub but a wine bar, with a backpackers hostel accessed to the rear of the bar, through the same door that leads to the upstairs theatre.

Earlier this year the owners announced they wouldn't  renew the the theatre lease.  It seems they prefer to expand the hostel accommodation in time for  the London Olympics.

At the end of the Press Night performance of The Duchess of Malfi,  star and producer Alice de Sousa asked the audience to write to Greenwich MP Nick Raynsford and their local council members to request support in finding  a new venue  in the borough.

It's a tragedy that a long-standing  institution should be threatened with disappearance for the sake of a one-off event which seems to have very little local support.

My review of The Duchess of Malfi appears on The Public Review website

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