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LGBTQ+ theatre and bar Above The Stag closes its doors

Above The Stag, a LGBTQ+ theatre and bar in Vauxhall, has closed following a financially “challenging” couple of years.

The venue closed its doors for the last time on Saturday, after management was unable to “come up with a feasible business plan for the next five years in our existing venue”.

Management said that another contributing factor in the decision to close was the impact of a Network Rail inspection of the arches where the venue is based, meaning the location has to be closed, emptied and stripped back, and rearranged once the repairs are finished.

In a statement, Andy Hill, operations director and producer, said: “The past five years, in our beautiful Vauxhall home, have been extremely happy and successful but financially very challenging.

“As a Charity and the UK’s only exclusively LGBT+ Theatre, we are delighted to have staged award winning productions, sponsored new talent of every kind, provided a rare cross-generational queer space for our LGBT+ community and given you all great nights out.

“It has certainly been a privilege for us.”

The statement added that while it would be unable to continue at its existing venue, the show was “not over yet” and Above The Stag was “very much alive and kicking”.

“All furniture, fixtures, fittings and equipment are being transferred into storage in readiness for a reopening elsewhere at a later date,” said Hill.

The theatre’s benefactors have committed to donating £2m ($2.4m/€2.4m) over the next five years, subject to finding a new venue that was fit for purpose, and producing a feasible five-year business plan.

Image: Lloyd Dirks on Unsplash