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Above the Stag exec hopes the LGBTQ venue will reopen 'elsewhere at a later date' after closing

Andy Hill said the queer venue has to shut due to financial challenges.

2022-08-09

Words: Alastair James; pictures: Instagram/@abovethestag

A boss of the London LGBTQ venue, Above the Stag in Vauxhall, says he hopes to reopen the venue "elsewhere at a later date" after announcing the venue's closure due to financial challenges. 

On Sunday (7 August) a notice was put on and shared widely on social media announcing the imminent closure with more information due on Tuesday (9 August)

 
 
 
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A post shared by Above The Stag Theatre & Bar (@abovethestag)

In a statement released earlier, Andy Hill, the Operations Director & Producer at the venue thanked supporters for their positive messages and said the decision to close was a "heart-breaking" one. 

"The past 5 years, in our beautiful Vauxhall home, have been extremely happy and successful but financially very challenging," he continues.

"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."

He goes on: "We are very proud of all the wonderful staff, creatives, technicians, actors, artists, and especially our loyal audiences who have graced us with their presence. A big thank you to everyone who has walked through our doors and been part of the creation of some very special magic."

He goes on to explain that he hasn't been able to come up with a feasible business plan for the next five years in the existing venue adding that necessary safety inspections of the site by National Rail have also had an effect on the decision. 

"The show is not over yet...," he also says. "Above The Stag is still 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."

Above the Stag's benefactors are said to have committed to donating £2 million over the next five years if a new home can be found and a business plan.

"The search for our new home begins now!" Hill finishes. 

Since reopening last year Above the Stag has become a go-to place for members of the community with the venue providing space for queer thespians as well as other acts such as drag shows and live podcast sessions. 

The Attitude September/October issue is out now.