Category Archives: Ashcroft Theatre

Mayor has weeks to save Fairfield Halls and Borough of Culture

It is symptomatic of BHLive’s lack of real connection with the borough in which they are supposed to manage its largest arts venue that they chose the day of the Croydon local election results to make the announcement of the … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Ashcroft Theatre, BH Live, Borough of Culture 2023, Brick by Brick, Business, Croydon Council, Fairfield Halls, Jo Negrini, Mayor Jason Perry, Mayor of London, Neil Chandler, Paula Murray, Sadiq Khan, The Wreck, Theatre, Tony Newman, Val Shawcross | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Bafta-winner Scanlan joins calls for new bosses at arts centre

‘Things are far from perfick at the Fairfield ‘Alls’ says the award-winning actress who plays Ma Larkin, as the campaign to sack BHLive gathers momentum. EXCLUSIVE by STEVEN DOWNES Joanna Scanlan, the BAFTA award-winning actress, has called on Croydon Council … Continue reading

Posted in 2022 Croydon Mayor election, Art, Ashcroft Theatre, BH Live, Borough of Culture 2023, Fairfield Halls, Music, The Wreck, Theatre | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Council ignored £5m offer to revive Fairfield’s reputation

CROYDON IN CRISIS: Moves to take the management of the troubled arts centre out of the hands of Bournemouth-based BHLive are being resisted by Labour politicians. EXCLUSIVE by STEVEN DOWNES Senior officials and the Labour cabinet member in charge of … Continue reading

Posted in 2022 Croydon Mayor election, Art, Ashcroft Theatre, BH Live, Borough of Culture 2023, Brick by Brick, Croydon Council, Fairfield Halls, Jo Negrini, Music, Neil Chandler, Oliver Lewis, Paula Murray, Shifa Mustafa, Theatre | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Choir demands compensation over BHLive’s Fairfield shambles

CROYDON IN CRISIS: BHLive, the under-fire operators of the council-owned arts complex, have been accused of costing one of the borough’s top arts groups thousands of pounds because of their poor management of the prestige venue. By our arts correspondent, … Continue reading

Posted in Andrew Pelling, Art, Ashcroft Theatre, BH Live, Croydon Philharmonic Choir, Fairfield Halls, Music, Oliver Lewis, Theatre, Val Shawcross | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

A night at the comic opera: from sublime to the ridiculous

Box office closed, bar closed, bistro closed and toilets closed… KEN TOWL went along to see what the Fairfield Halls experience is like these days, and with a box seat (pictured left) he managed to last longer than the Mayor … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Ashcroft Theatre, BH Live, Croydon Philharmonic Choir, Fairfield Halls, Ken Towl, Music | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments

The grand scandal at the centre of Fairfield’s absurd saga

Arts correspondent BELLA BARTOCK solves the mystery of the vanishing grand pianos, and discovers more scandal at the council-owned arts venue The Fairfield Halls, following its shambolic and costly refurbishment, is now an arts centre without an art gallery, with … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Ashcroft Theatre, BH Live, Borough of Culture 2023, Croydon Philharmonic Choir, Fairfield Halls, Music, The Wreck | Tagged , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

£67m arts centre – with no art gallery and few performances

EXCLUSIVE: The Fairfield Halls fiasco gets worse by the day, with Bournemouth-based venue operators BHLive staging shows on just 24% of available dates. Croydon is supposed to be London’s ‘Borough of Culture’ in 2023… By STEVEN DOWNES Croydon is London’s … Continue reading

Posted in Alison Butler, Arnhem Gallery, Art, Ashcroft Theatre, BH Live, Borough of Culture 2023, Business, Croydon Council, Fairfield Halls, Hamida Ali, Mayor of London, Neil Chandler, Oliver Lewis, RIPI II: Fairfield Halls, Sadiq Khan, Talawa Theatre Company, The Wreck, Theatre, Tony Newman | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Dick and Dom do the Fairfield panto: which one’s the Beast?

Rehearsals are well underway for this year’s Croydon pantomime at the Fairfield Halls, with the curtain going up next Friday at the Ashcroft Theatre on Imagine Theatre’s glittering production of Beauty and The Beast, starring Dick and Dom… though no … Continue reading

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

Council to be rocked by second Report In The Public Interest

CROYDON IN CRISIS: The £70m ‘Fairfield fiasco’ has provoked serious concerns with auditors over the potential misuse of public money, with bungling developers Brick by Brick under scrutiny. EXCLUSIVE By STEVEN DOWNES External auditors are to issue a Report In … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Ashcroft Theatre, Brick by Brick, Business, Colm Lacey, Croydon Council, Fairfield Halls, Hamida Ali, Jo Negrini, Katherine Kerswell, Paula Murray, Report in the Public Interest, Richard Ennis, RIPI II: Fairfield Halls, Sean Fitzsimons, Shifa Mustafa, Tony Newman | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

BHLive’s business losses hit Fairfield Halls’ arts programme

The lack of activity in and around the Fairfield Halls and the return to the “bad old days” of tired programming dominated by derivative tribute acts and all-star wrestling is all because not enough people in Dorset are paying for … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Ashcroft Theatre, BH Live, Business, Croydon Council, Fairfield Halls | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

‘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

Now top art critic warns: ‘Somebody is going to wind up in jail’

One of the country’s leading art critics, Norman Lebrecht, has today weighed in to the gathering storm around the £70million Fairfield Halls fiasco, warning that, “Somebody is going to wind up in jail” over what he calls the “chaotic rebuilding” … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Ashcroft Theatre, Brick by Brick, Fairfield Halls, Music | Tagged , , , , | 14 Comments

Council has no answers over missing Fairfield Halls sculpture

Croydon’s crass council has been accused of another act of cultural vandalism, after “losing” a significant piece of mid-century street art from the site alongside the “award-winning” (try not to laugh) Fairfield Halls. The art installation, in a modernist, geometric … Continue reading

Posted in Arnhem Gallery, Art, Ashcroft Theatre, Borough of Culture 2023, Brick by Brick, Croydon Council, Fairfield Halls, Oliver Lewis, The Wreck | Tagged , , , , , , , | 10 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

Brick by Brick failed to replace Fairfield’s 60-year-old windows

CROYDON IN CRISIS: The ‘fiasco’ of Brick by Brick’s bungled £70m refurbishment of the arts venue gets worse, with the latest admission of failures from a cabinet member. EXCLUSIVE by STEVEN DOWNES Ollie “Shit Show” Lewis, the council cabinet member … Continue reading

Posted in Alison Butler, Art, Ashcroft Theatre, Brick by Brick, Croydon Council, Fairfield Halls, Jo Negrini, Mayor of London, Oliver Lewis, Timothy Godfrey, Tony Newman | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

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 to pick up £69.2m costs of failed Fairfield Halls refurb

CROYDON IN CRISIS: Town Hall correspondent, KEN LEE, on the latest council bail-out for Brick by Brick over the bungled and unfinished refurbishment of the borough’s major arts centre Croydon’s cash-strapped council is to step in and pick up another … Continue reading

Posted in Ashcroft Theatre, Brick by Brick, Chris Buss, Croydon Council, Fairfield Halls, The Wreck, Urban Splash | Tagged , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Conflicts of interest, incomplete contracts, unlawful payments – how the Fairfield Halls refurbishment cost Croydon £50m-plus

EXCLUSIVE: Council was warned in 2017 of problems with the management of works at the borough’s flagship arts centre. By STEVEN DOWNES A report by the council’s internal auditors has raised very serious concerns over the mismanagement of the multi-million-pound … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Ashcroft Theatre, Brick by Brick, Business, Croydon Council, Fairfield Halls, Jo Negrini, Shifa Mustafa, Tony Newman | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 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

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

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

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