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Musical axed as theatre stays closed indefinitely

PUBLISHED: 16:44 03 September 2008 | UPDATED: 11:19 12 August 2010

REHEARSALS for a musical due to be staged at the troubled Stag theatre have been axed as council bosses confirm the venue will not re-open this year.

REHEARSALS for a musical due to be staged at the troubled Stag theatre have been axed as council bosses confirm the venue will not re-open this year.

Elizabeth O'Donnell, vice-chairman of the Petts Wood Operatic Society, met with members on Tuesday night after hearing their November show Best Little Whore House In Texas was officially cancelled.

After months of planning, rehearsals involving more than 50 people were expected to take place in the hope the venue could open for two scheduled productions.

The Stag complex in London Road, Sevenoaks, was closed in July after Kino Holdings' shock withdrawal from the venue claiming it was no longer viable due to financial reasons.

Mrs O'Donnell said: "We are obviously disappointed.

"A lot of work has gone into this and the whole production has been cast but it is too late to find an alternative.

"We knew it was unlikely that someone would be able to run the Stag in the interim period, while a long-term plan was considered, but there was always hope we could go ahead and to hear this is now a definite no is a real shame for everyone involved."

This week Sevenoaks District Council confirmed Kent County Council (KCC) and Sevenoaks Town Council were the front-runners to take control next year.

At a cabinet meeting last Thursday it was agreed that the evaluation process of options should be completed by the end of October.

KCC hope to use the Stag as a 'Gateway' offering a multi-agency public service point with the building, together with the theatre and one cinema.

Councillor Elaine Bracken, cabinet member for the arts, said: "Having thoroughly considered the issue, it was most unlikely that the process could have been finished in time to re-open the building with all that this would entail for the two retaining bookings to proceed in November.

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