Category Archives: BH Live

‘The damage to the Fairfield Halls reputation is severe’

CROYDON IN CRISIS: While the cash-strapped council remains preoccupied with its finances, the once prestigious arts centre on the other side of Park Lane risks sliding towards cultural oblivion. By our arts correspondent, BELLA BARTOCK There are growing concerns that … Continue reading

Posted in Arnhem Gallery, Art, Ashcroft Theatre, BH Live, Borough of Culture 2023, Business, Croydon Council, Fairfield Halls, GLL - Better, Mayor of London, Neil Chandler, Oliver Lewis, Paula Murray, Sadiq Khan, The Wreck, Theatre, Tony Newman | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Cultural hopes are raised as Talawa and Nick Cave take a bow

Two shows staged at the borough’s major arts centre over the weekend helped to underline how precious the Fairfield Halls should be for Croydon. If only the artistic programme on offer more generally could rise to the local public’s expectations, … Continue reading

Posted in Art, BH Live, Borough of Culture 2023, Fairfield Halls, Music, Talawa Theatre Company, The Wreck | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

It’s time to put back the Sparks into Croydon’s Fairfield Halls

For £70m, the Fairfield Halls should be offering a lot more for the community, says KEN TOWL If the Fairfield Halls disappoint, and they do, over and over, it is because they have a lot to live up to. Through … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Ashcroft Theatre, BH Live, Borough of Culture 2023, Fairfield Halls, Music, Savvy Theatre Company, Talawa Theatre Company | Tagged , , , , | 11 Comments

The Fairfield Halls Community Choir is seeking a new home

By VERONA CHARD Prior to Lockdown, I ran the Fairfield Halls Community Choir “plus sessions”, I had created for toddlers and babies called “Donkey Dots For Tots”, plus a monthly musical balloon band prom for families. But I’ve been told … Continue reading

Posted in Art, BH Live, Fairfield Halls, Music | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Millions of questions for BHLive over Fairfield grant aid

CROYDON IN CRISIS: It’s like nothing has ever changed at the borough’s prestigious arts centre, where tribute acts still dominate its sparse programme, while the venue operators are staying schtum about how they’re spending public money. By our arts correspondent, … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Ashcroft Theatre, BH Live, Borough of Culture 2023, Brick by Brick, Business, Croydon Council, Fairfield Halls, London Mozart Players, Neil Chandler, The Wreck | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Fairfield Halls’ £70m fiasco: ‘BxB didn’t know what it was doing’

CROYDON IN CRISIS: Trade newspaper The Stage has described the five-year saga of the Fairfield Halls refurbishment as a ‘catastrophic mess’ and a ‘£70m fiasco’. Now, the centre’s former artistic director has broken his silence over the bungling of Brick … Continue reading

Posted in Arnhem Gallery, Art, Ashcroft Theatre, BH Live, Borough of Culture 2023, Fairfield Halls, Neil Chandler, Oliver Lewis, Sadiq Khan, Tony Newman | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Council paid £1m compensation for unfinished Fairfield Halls

EXCLUSIVE: A year-long investigation has uncovered multi-million-pound payments by the council on its arts centre, largely because of the bungled refurbishment managed by Brick by Brick. And it is now suggested some payments may have been unlawful. By STEVEN DOWNES … Continue reading

Posted in Ashcroft Theatre, BH Live, Brick by Brick, Croydon Council, Fairfield Halls, Hamida Ali, Oliver Lewis, Tony Newman | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

£30m Fairfield Halls project never went to competitive tender

EXCLUSIVE by STEVEN DOWNES Brick by Brick’s management of the refurbishment of the Halls has been subject to disputes with at least two leading contractors £3m grant to build an art gallery was diverted to pay for other work – … Continue reading

Posted in Alison Butler, Art, Ashcroft Theatre, BH Live, Brick by Brick, Business, Colm Lacey, Croydon Council, Fairfield Halls, Simon Hall, Tony Newman | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Directors Murray and Cheesbrough start exodus from council

CROYDON IN CRISIS: The director of planning and the borough’s culture chief are to leave Fisher’s Folly – the first top-level departures since the council issued its Section 114 notice. By STEVEN DOWNES Heather Cheesbrough, Croydon’s director of planning, and … Continue reading

Posted in Art, BH Live, Borough of Culture 2023, Brick by Brick, Croydon Council, Fairfield Halls, Heather Cheesbrough, Jo Negrini, Katherine Kerswell, Paula Murray, Planning, Section 114 notice, Shifa Mustafa | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Arts Council refuses to investigate job losses at Fairfield Halls

Arts correspondent BELLA BARTOCK on the mounting scandal at the council-owned arts venue, where fears grow that it might never reopen The Arts Council has told Inside Croydon that they are powerless to intervene after BHLive, the social enterprise appointed … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Ashcroft Theatre, BH Live, Fairfield Halls, Theatre | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments

BHLive laid off Halls staff just days after receiving £2.5m grant

EXCLUSIVE: Our arts correspondent, BELLA BARTOCK, on the mounting scandal surrounding the operating company in charge of the Fairfield Halls Within days of being awarded a £2.5million government grant intended to help the arts venues that they operate through the … Continue reading

Posted in Art, BH Live, Fairfield Halls | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Fairfield Halls operators get £2.5m Arts Council covid grant

BELLA BARTOCK, our socially distanced arts correspondent, on a mystery surrounding a massive government recovery grant BHLive, the operator who runs the Fairfield Halls on behalf of Croydon Council, has received a £2.5million grant under the government’s Culture Recovery Fund … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Ashcroft Theatre, BH Live, Fairfield Halls, Theatre | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

5 Croydon arts groups win covid grants, but not Fairfield Halls

The government and Arts Council England yesterday handed out £257million to 1,385 arts and cultural venues and companies around the country. Five of the recipients are based in Croydon. But not a penny of the Cultural Recovery Fund has been … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Ashcroft Theatre, BH Live, Fairfield Halls, Stanley Halls, Studio Upstairs, Theatre | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Culture is worth £5.5bn to London economy, says Arts Council

The impact on the local economy of the continuing closure of the Fairfield Halls is hinted at in a report published today by Arts Council England which reckons that arts and culture contributed £5.5billion to London in 2018, supporting 67,075 … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Ashcroft Theatre, BH Live, Fairfield Halls, Theatre | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

BHLive starts redundancy process for staff at Fairfield Halls

There have been unconfirmed reports that BHLive, the Bournemouth-based operators in charge of running the council-owned Fairfield Halls, have this week begun making their full-time employees in Croydon redundant. According to BHLive insiders, the move could see the Fairfield Halls … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Ashcroft Theatre, BH Live, Croydon Council, Fairfield Halls, Oliver Lewis | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

Virus sees council turn Fairfield into a £43m rehearsal space

Our arts correspondent, BELLA BARTOCK, reports on how the council has belatedly come up with a handful of measures to see the Fairfield Halls at least partially come out of its covid-induced ‘hibernation’ A month after the venue management laid … Continue reading

Posted in Art, BH Live, Dance, Fairfield Halls, London Mozart Players, Music, Oliver Lewis, Savvy Theatre Company, Talawa Theatre Company, The Wreck | Tagged , , , , , | 12 Comments

Fears grow at Fairfield Halls over operator’s unsigned lease

The Fairfield Halls may be in “hibernation” until next year because of coronavirus, but Croydon Council is now facing another crisis over its ill-fated £43million refurbishment project, with growing fears that the company appointed to manage the arts complex could … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Ashcroft Theatre, BH Live, Borough of Culture 2023, Croydon Council, Fairfield Halls, Neil Chandler, Oliver Lewis | Tagged , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Croydon in crisis: Contractors in £9m row over Fairfield Halls

EXCLUSIVE: The council’s blundering house-builders Brick by Brick face the threat of a multi-million-pound legal action in a payments dispute over the refurbishment of the town centre’s arts venue. By STEVEN DOWNES The building contractors who carried out the refurbishment … Continue reading

Posted in Arnhem Gallery, Ashcroft Theatre, BH Live, Business, Fairfield Halls, Mott MacDonald, Tony Newman | Tagged , , , , , , | 5 Comments

80 casual staff laid off as Fairfield Halls goes ‘into hibernation’

EXCLUSIVE: Our unfurloughed arts correspondent, BELLA BARTOCK, on dark times for Croydon’s major arts venue Fairfield Halls’ casual staff, who have been furloughed since the arts venue closed its doors for the coronavirus lockdown in March, have been told that … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Ashcroft Theatre, BH Live, Fairfield Halls, Neil Chandler, Theatre, Timothy Godfrey | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Facing uncertain future, Fairfield Halls returns all its pianos

The Fairfield Halls had the removal men in yesterday – taking away the arts venue’s pianos. Inside Croydon understands that the pianos – nine in total, including two grand pianos – have been returned to their makers after the venue … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Ashcroft Theatre, BH Live, Borough of Culture 2023, Brick by Brick, Colm Lacey, Croydon Council, Fairfield Halls, Music, Neil Chandler, Oliver Lewis, Theatre | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Culture deals with covid-19 without making a song and dance

The sense of doom and gloom caused by the covid-19 pandemic had well and truly taken hold of London by the middle of last week. There was a dark humour about the place reflected by the public address system at … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Ashcroft Theatre, BH Live, Cinema, Croydon Bach Choir, Croydon Male Voice Choir, Croydon Philharmonic Choir, David Lean Cinema Campaign, Fairfield Halls, Music, Talawa Theatre Company, Theatre, Theatre Workshop Coulsdon | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Big claim lands Fairfield Halls in bother with Authority

In the latest embarrassing blow for the council-owned arts centre, the Fairfield Halls has received a warning from the Advertising Standards Authority over repeatedly making misleading and false claims to be “south London’s biggest arts centre”. The official reproach ought … Continue reading

Posted in BH Live, Croydon Council, Fairfield Halls, Tony Newman | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

Seconds out: Operator hopes wrestling will boost Fairfield Halls

EXCLUSIVE: The art venue’s director quit in a dispute over dumbing down of its programme in a bid to boost ticket sales, reports BELLA BARTOCK, who has discovered that BHLive are recruiting for Neil Chandler’s replacement, but offering a lesser … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Ashcroft Theatre, BH Live, Fairfield Halls, London Mozart Players, Music, Neil Chandler, Theatre | Tagged , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Fairfield Halls needs to be more London, and less Bournemouth

CROYDON COMMENTARY: Could Brit Awards-winner Stormzy help to save the Fairfield Halls? Following Inside Croydon’s exclusive news report yesterday that Neil  Chandler, the venue’s artistic director, had quit amid growing concerns about poor audiences in the first six months since … Continue reading

Posted in Art, BH Live, Croydon Council, Fairfield Halls, Music, Neil Chandler, Theatre | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

Fairfield Halls director quits less than six months after opening

EXCLUSIVE: A £42.6m white elephant without its mahout? Our arts correspondent, BELLA BARTOCK, reports on the most dramatic of exits from the Fairfield Halls Neil Chandler has left the building. The Fairfield Halls’ venue and artistic director has left his … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Ashcroft Theatre, BH Live, Croydon BID, Fairfield Halls, London Mozart Players, Neil Chandler, Talawa Theatre Company, Theatre | Tagged , , , , , , | 9 Comments