Sadler’s Wells in Finsbury is on the lookout for new theatre

Snow White at London's Sadler's Wells

Snow White at London's Sadler's Wells - Credit: Sadler's Wells

A famous Finsbury dance theatre is on the lookout for new multimillion-pound premises.

Breakin' Convention 2011 at Sadler's Wells. Picture: Andy Southam

Breakin' Convention 2011 at Sadler's Wells. Picture: Andy Southam - Credit: Andy Southam

The 500-seat building, which could open as early as 2018, will be the latest addition to Sadler’s Wells, in Rosebery Avenue.

Sadler’s Wells has been providing entertainment since 1683 and current artistic director Alistair Spalding wants the venue to become a national centre for contemporary dance.

To this end the hunt is on for a bigger venue with Mr Spalding citing his “frustration” at not having a medium-sized venue amid a growing audience for dance.

He said: “All the statistics are going upwards. What’s clear is when there is more on offer the audience gets bigger.”

Mr Spalding added it would be “a challenge” to find the right space in London and did not rule out building the new venue away from its Islington home.

He said the size of the new venue meant it would not make money and said it would cost “well below” a suggested figure of £100million.

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A fundraising campaign starts next year with the venue trying to keep the subsidy element to a minimum.

Mr Spalding said: “The public appetite for dance has never been greater.

“We want to respond to this and give the creative talent in this country a proper chance to develop for the future growth of the art form.

“To achieve this, we need to be able to expand beyond our current base – without losing the unique quality and atmosphere that is associated with Sadler’s Wells.”

More than 4.5 million people have visited Sadler’s Wells since a lottery-funded rebuild in 1998.

The venue also unveiled its programme for next spring and summer which includes a World Cup-inspired samba show with 35 dancers from Rio de Janeiro and Charlie Chaplin’s grandson James Thierree’s circus-inspired Tabac Rouge.

Sadler well’s was originally a music house built by Richard Sadler around the spring alongside the Islington Spa holiday resort.