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Veteran theatre company Kneehigh to close

The company comes to an end after 40 years

A Kneehigh show in action
© Steve Tanner

The artistic team of veteran theatre company Kneehigh has revealed it will "close" with "an orderly wind down".

Posting a statement on its site, the internationally renowned company said: "Recent changes in artistic leadership raised questions as to whether Kneehigh could sustain their vision going forward. The Trustees and company reflected on a possible new future but concluded that it was better and more responsible to close Kneehigh and ensure an orderly wind down.

"The company wants to thank everyone who came to watch the performances, the artists they have had the pleasure to work alongside, the industry collaborators and partners, the volunteers and community groups who shared their time, knowledge and stories, as well as the funders and the friends – all of whom made the work possible."

Having premiered award-nominated shows including Brief Encounter (in the West End and on Broadway) as well as touring pieces including The Red Shoes and The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, Kneehigh was founded by Mike Shepherd in 1980 and is based in Cornwall. Recent shows have included The Tin Drum on tour, as well as The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk, which director Emma Rice also presented at Shakespeare's Globe.

Kneeigh's production of The Umbrellas of Cherbourg ran in the West End, with other pieces presented at venues including the National Theatre, Battersea Arts Centre and its dedicated Cornish venue Asylum.

The company said: "We are working through the logistics currently but plan to close the company in as short a timeframe as possible to ensure a smooth process for all involved." The company has been to stress it is silvent and can meet any obligations.

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