The Sound Theatre, housed in part of the Swiss Centre in London’s Leicester Square, will close this September to make way for a new hotel complex that is being built on the site.

The final production in the 150-seat venue will be Toby Frow’s revival of Jonathan Harvey’s “urban fairytale” Beautiful Thing, which, following a critically acclaimed sell-out season earlier this year, returns to the venue from 25 July to 26 August 2006 (previews from 19 July).

The theatre’s adjacent Sound bar, restaurant and nightclub will move to another building in Leicester Square, where there will be no theatre space. However, the company is hoping to find a new home for the theatre in central London. Sound’s programmer Mig Kimpton told “It’s clear that there is a demand for this kind of theatre in the West End. We’re planning to pursue a number of possibilities, though there’s nothing confirmed as yet.”

The Sound Theatre was launched in June 2005 by Kit Productions with the aim of creating a venue dedicated to presenting new writing and offering affordable tickets for younger audiences in the geographical heart of the West End. When Kit’s alternative Christmas show Snow! The Musical closed just a week after its press performance at the end of last year, the production company withdrew from the venue and disbanded (See News, 13 Dec 2005).

Since Kit’s departure, the theatre has been managed by the property’s landlords, with a more commercial remit as a receiving house. It has hosted plays, musicals and cabarets, including the off-Broadway transfer of musical spoof Musical of Musicals (The Musical!) (See News, 8 Mar 2006), and a trio of short plays by Luigi Pirandello, Joe Orton and Anton Chekhov, collectively titled A Shot of Genius (See News, 2 May 2006), in addition to Beautiful Thing.

- by Caroline Ansdell

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