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The show must go on

PUBLISHED: 09:39 20 March 2008 | UPDATED: 14:30 25 August 2010

A MUCH-loved theatre company threatened with closure after losing its funding has been given a last-minute reprieve.

A MUCH-loved theatre company threatened with closure after losing its funding has been given a last-minute reprieve.

London Bubble, a theatre company that has performed at the Old Royal Naval College and Danson Park, has received a one-off payment meaning it can continue for another year.

The company had its annual funding of £430,000 from the Arts Council axed in February, as reported in the Times.

After a high-profile campaign, the Arts Council agreed to give them a one-off payment of £130,000 to enable them to continue at a reduced capacity.

The 35-year-old company will now face a 'very sad situation' as they are forced to make redundancies.

Artistic director Jonathan Petherbridge said the 'bizarre' payment was more than they expected.

He said: "I think the Arts Council were affected by the representations of the public and politicians and they accepted our argument that they were not looking at all our work.

"There is much relief that the company isn't going to close.

"I feel there is a lot of work that has to be done. We have got some stiff fundraising targets. The whole situation has garnered a lot of support for us."

Mr Petherbridge said he will be talking to Greenwich council about the possibility of them helping out with funding.

A spokesperson for the Arts Council said: "We considered carefully the organisation's response, and acknowledged the company's heritage and long held role as a creator of work for and with young people.

"We have never disputed the quality of their education work, however, we had continuing concerns about the artistic quality of the company's productions, and did not believe that our future investment was best served by London Bubble.

"Since then, London Bubble have been developing plans to continue to deliver education and participatory activity, in partnership with other funders."

The company are now planning a large-scale community production in the summer, called Urban Dreams, in a park in Greenwich.

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