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New End Theatre Closes to Make Way for Synagogue

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The New End theatre in Hampstead is set to close at the end of this month to make way for a synagogue.

The New End’s artistic director and chief executive Brian Daniels, who has been with the venue for 14 years, emailed supporters this week to inform them of the situation.

He wrote: “We are negotiating for the New End Theatre to relocate to a more user-friendly building within Hampstead and with easier car parking arrangements. It is likely though that there will be no productions for at least six months.

"Any remaining period of your membership will be transferred to the new building where we will have an exciting range of new drama to suit all tastes and pockets.”

According to the Camden New Journal, after the run of Where's Your Mama Gone? finishes on 28 August, work will begin on converting the New End into a Jewish arts centre and synagogue for Hampstead's The Village Shul.

Daniels had previously expected that the theatre would share the venue with The Village Shul, but “spiralling costs” forced him to reconsider.

The building housing the theatre was constructed on New End road in 1890 as the mortuary of the former New End Hospital. It was converted into a theatre in 1974 by Buddy Dalton and soon formed its reputation for presenting new writing.

Writers and performers who have performed and been associated with the venue over the years include Susannah York, Anthony Minghella, Stephen Fry, Steven Berkoff, Mike Leigh, Ken Russell, Judi Dench (a current patron), Jerry Hall, Helen Lederer and Joe McGann.

Speaking to the Jewish Chronicle recently, Brian Daniels said, "I'm not having a closing party because I don't think we are closing. We are actually going forward."


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