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The Cutty Sark to become new London theatre venue

Story by Jack Foley

THE Cutty Sark in Greenwich is to become London’s newest theatre venue.

The 85-seat venue has even been ‘named’ the Michael Edwards Studio Theatre in honour of the theatre producer behind comedy Barking in Essex, who is also a Cutty Sark trustee.

From January 29, 2014, it will play host to a fortnight of special events, including stand-up comedy from Ross Noble and Alan Davies, in the lower hold of the 19th Century clipper.

According to the Cutty Sark’s director, Richard Doughty, the studio theatre project is designed to attract new audiences who might not usually consider visiting the historic ship.

“Our aspiration is that the development of Cutty Sark as a flexible theatre space will enable us to reach out to new audiences who can discover the ship in a whole new way,” he told the BBC. “This opening fortnight sets the agenda for Cutty Sark to become a unique new venue in the heart of Greenwich and London.”

A tea clipper that was built in 1869, the vessel only re-opened in 2012 following a £50m conservation restoration following a fire in 2007.

As part of its restoration, visitors can now walk under the three-masted ship as well as go on board and learn about its history in the museum. Theatre-goers will find themselves seated in an area previously used to store cargoes of tea and wool during its voyages.