Leading gay arts venue loses funding

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The UK’s leading producer and presenter of lesbian, gay and queer performance is to appeal against the Arts Council’s decision to stop its funding from April 2008.

The Drill Hall in central London, whose partons include choreographer Matthew Bourne, Harry Potter actress Miriam Margolyes and comic Julian Clary, has a established an international reputation for championing the work of new artists, performers and theatre practitioners.

Originally built in 1882 as a drill hall for the Bloomsbury Rifles, this year it has been celebrating its 30th anniversary as a leading producer and presenter of lesbian, gay and queer performance.

Julie Parker, artistic director and chief executive, said: “I am shocked and dismayed by this decision, and we will be appealing against it.”

Next month a London-based gay and lesbian running group will perform a Christmas pantomime to raise money for the LGBT organisation Stonewall at the Drill Hall.

On January 13 London Frontrunners will stage their gay version of A Christmas Carol.