LGBT+ theatre Above The Stag explains reason behind sudden closure in Vauxhall

The Caberet Lounge in the Above The Stag theatre Credit: Instagram/Above The Stag

The UK's only exclusively LGBT+ theatre shut down because of growing costs and work to renovate its home in a railway arch in south London.

Above The Stag in Vauxhall suddenly closed its doors on Sunday night after failing to come up with a "feasible business plan", managers said.

The closure came just days after the start of a new comedy production originally due to run until the end of the month.

'Understanding and supportive'

"Regretfully, it has not been possible to come up with a feasible business plan for the next 5 years in our existing venue," said Andy Hill, Operations Director & Producer.

"Our landlord, The Arch Company, has been very understanding and supportive.

"Another contributing factor in the decision to close is that Network Rail, as a priority, have to carry out a full back to brick safety inspection and repairs to the arches within the next 6 months.

"The arches have to be closed, emptied, stripped back, and then all reinstated after the repairs are completed," the statement added.

The theatre was originally founded in 2008 and until 2012 its home was above a gay pub called The Stag in Victoria, which was eventually torn down.

The theatre then moved to a renovated railway arch in Vauxhall and then to another new venue beneath an arc on Albert Embankment.

'Show not over'

Despite the closure the venue's owners insist the show "is not over yet".

Andy Hill added: "Above The Stag is still very much alive and kicking. All furniture, fixtures, fittings and equipment are being transferred into storage in readiness for a reopening elsewhere at a later date.

"Our Benefactors have committed to donating £2m over the next 5 years subject to us finding a fit for purpose new venue and coming up with a feasible 5 year business plan.

"The search for our new home begins now!"

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