A theatre in north-west London which has spent the past two years stirring critics with challenging productions could be forced to close – not because of a lack of funding or meagre audiences, but because the height of the steps on its Victorian staircases do not match strict council regulations.There’s actually a bit more to it than that, with the lack of an entertainment license to add to the list, but who doesn’t love an ‘elf ‘n safety gorn mad!’ story?
The theatre's artistic director, Adam Spreadbury-Maher, spent much of yesterday in meetings with Brent Council in an attempt to hammer out a solution. He said: "The issue is the current building regulations don't like the height and depth of the steps going up to the theatre...Each step is too high and too short."So, replace them? Or is it a money thing?
But Mr Spreadbury-Maher said space, not money, was the major obstacle to finding a solution.
"Money has never been an issue. We never received funding, yet look at the work we have produced. The issue is a lack of space. If we have to put a compliant staircase in this theatre we will have two stairwells coming in on the middle of the stage. Tom Stoppard's Artist Descending a Staircase is a good play, but I'm not sure we can run it til Doomsday," he said.Ouch!