Representatives of theatre groups and organisations from around the London Borough of Sutton have met to discuss plans to try and save The Cryer Theatre in Carshalton.

The meeting, co-ordinated by Dick Bower, Vice-Chair of Arts Network Sutton, committed itself to retaining the pressure on Sutton Council to ensure that at least one of the borough’s two theatres remained open for business.

The group has agreed to consider if it is possible to put a bid in to take over The Cryer but, in the meantime, it is continuing to urge people to sign the petition to emphasise that The Cryer should be saved: https://www.change.org/p/sutton-council-save-the-cryer-for-community-theatre

“We discussed a range of options for The Cryer. It was suggested that the theatre could run along the lines of the Cornerhouse Theatre in Surbiton which has an artistic committee and then rents the venue out to various groups during the day and in the evening but expects groups to run their own box office, provide front of house and technical staff, allowing the costs to be kept down.

The South London Theatre was also mentioned, as this follows a similar model also doing in-house productions. A model like this would either require the council to gift the use of the theatre to the community or to allow a peppercorn rent system.

It is essential that we do all we can to show the council that the theatre is needed and wanted by the community,” said Mr Bower.