Letter: Act for the capital

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The Independent Online
The Greenwich Theatre wishes Trevor Phillips luck with what looks like his bid to be Mayor of London. His article (24 January) telling arts practitioners not to bother central government for even a modest improvement in their low levels of funding will have earned him valuable brownie points at Westminster. But we have a few tips that may improve his chances with the voters.

He should try to be mayor for all London, not just fashionable enclaves north of the river. His endorsement of the London Arts Board's decision to cut our theatre and deprive south-east London of its only repertory theatre doesn't suggest much interest in areas beyond Rotherhithe. And the 51,000 people who visited our theatre last year will feel excluded by his statement that the audience for theatre "has disappeared from south- east London".

As mayor, Trevor will need to argue the case for investment in London's infrastructure. Greenwich Theatre receives less than a quarter of the subsidy quite rightly given to the Royal Court and less than half the money that goes to the excellent Stratford East (though last year we took more at the box office than either of these).

The capital is full of small groups and struggling communities who will expect his support and encouragement. They will be concerned that Trevor has slammed the door so aggressively on the most poorly funded of London's middle-scale companies, mocking the genuine concern of others as "a sort of Wagnerian fury".


Artistic Director

Greenwich Theatre, London