Above the Stag is the multi Boyz Award-winning theatre company that is the UK’s only full time LGBT theatre. Since moving to their current home in Vauxhall they had been brilliantly successful and are now planning a move to a bigger venue just around the corner. Dave Cross spoke to Director Peter Bull to find out more.
Hi Peter, we know you’re moving to a new venue just down the rail track in Vauxhall, but we didn’t know you have to raise a small fortune in order to get there. What’s going on?
We’ve been incredibly successful since opening our theatre company above The Stag (hence the name) pub ten years ago and our current home in Vauxhall, however we have outgrown the space and in order to expand and appeal to a more diverse audience it is vital that we move to a bigger premises. We’ve managed to raise over £600,000 through private donations alone, however there is much more to raise in order to complete the works and create a truly great, accessible theatre and LGBT+ venue for all.
You’ve raised over £600,000 already – how?
We’ve managed this through the incredibly kind and generous donations of individuals who believe in Above The Stag Theatre and its future in the LGBT+ community.
And what’s all the money needed for?
You really would be surprised at the capital set up costs of fitting out an empty shell. As “theatricals”, we are very good at making things look fabulous for little cost, but the price of infrastructure and complying with health and safety legislation is astronomical.
Which types of people and/or businesses you are appealing to?
We’re appealing to our core audience and people or businesses who wish to play a part in the future of the UK’s only dedicated LGBT+ theatre. As a charity, donations of all sizes are invested back in to the project which offers everyone a chance to secure the future of Above The Stag.
When do you hope to be in the new venue?
We were hoping to be in for pants this December, however we are being held up by Lambeth Council bureaucracy. The plan is now to open in Spring 2018.
So how can Boyz readers help?
We welcome all donations but simply coming along and supporting the theatre and our productions makes a world of difference.