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Hampstead Theatre to invest £1m in new writing

Edward Hall said the funding will enable 'world-class theatre that is entertaining and original'

Edward Hall at the Hampstead Theatre
© Helen Maybanks

Hampstead Theatre has announced it is investing a million pounds in new plays. Half of the funds have already been raised and commissioning has already begun.

"This is our investment in the future of theatre," said artistic director Edward Hall. "Britain has an undisputed reputation as the source of some of the greatest writing in the world, and this financial injection of life into the commissioning landscape will support the enormous pool of talent that we enjoy."

The project has been enabled by the AKO Foundation, set up by financier Nicolai Tangen to benefit education and the arts, which will match funding raised by Hampstead Theatre up to £500,000.

Tangen said: "In these uncertain financial times, I am delighted that the AKO Foundation is able to contribute to the vibrant landscape of new writing in the excellent hands of Edward Hall and [executive producer] Greg Ripley-Duggan, whose programming, especially when it comes to championing new work, has brought unprecedented success to the theatre."

Since they took over in 2010, Hall and Ripley-Duggan have transformed the fortunes of the Hampstead, producing 55 new plays including a slew of West End transfers. The venue recently received seven Olivier Award nominations.

Hall added that the funding from AKO will "help us to continue with our ambition to find and make world-class theatre that is entertaining and original."

Read our interview with Edward Hall