Latest News - December 2015

Latest News - December 2015

An update on progress with the former Granada in Walthamstow from Soho Theatre.

Last November we heard that the former Granada building in Walthamstow had been sold to a private commercial developer. This deal was completed in May 2015, with the new owners including pub chain Antic London and investors Downing.

You can see updates from Antic pubs here.

You can see Downing’s statement about the future of the building here .

As many in the local community will know, Soho Theatre has been working closely with Waltham Forest Cinema Trust, the Council and others to secure use of the auditorium in order to provide world class entertainment and genuine community use in a new landmark venue in Walthamstow. Soho Theatre is a charity and social enterprise and has developed a robust business plan built around comedy and an annual Christmas panto – but extending far beyond that and including a range of ways in which the whole community can access the venue and our creative participation programmes.

We are hoping that this vision for the venue can be adapted to work within Antic and Downing’s development of the building and have held initial talks with them where we’ve been reassured that they are keen to work with us. We appreciate that the drawn out, complex nature of these discussions is frustrating for the many people who have long campaigned to bring the Granada back to entertainment and community use following the public inquiry in December 2012. When we have seen a more detailed proposal and plans, we hope that we’ll be able to move quickly and give a fuller update.

We have strong local links and are working with local young people through our Soho Young Playwrights project in 4 local primary schools (Greenleaf, Henry Maynard, Mission Grove and Our Lady & Saint George’s Catholic Primary School), through our NT Connections programme at Leyton Sixth Form College (coming to more Waltham Forest schools and colleges in 2016), and our weekly Theatremakers workshops at Walthamstow School for Girls and open to all in the borough. We are grateful to the local authority and others for their support for these programmes.

In the meantime…

here’s a video from last Christmas featuring comedians including Sam Simmons and Nish Kumar. Since then Sam has gone on to win the two most prestigious prizes in international comedy at Edinburgh and Melbourne and Nish has filmed a brilliant DVD with us. We hope it’s not too long before they’re performing in Walthamstow but until then you can catch them both over December live at Soho Theatre or see their Sky Arts specials on TV over Christmas.

If you’re interested in our work with young people, there’s more on that here.

And we have a full programme of comedy and theatre this festive season and into the new year at Soho Theatre. We’d love to see you there and give you a taste of what we all hope we’ll be bringing to Walthamstow soon…