Bars and restaurant consortium JJ Goodman Ltd has taken over the lease of the Arts Theatre on Leicester Square. The group has appointed Mig Kimpton as executive director. Kimpton was the Arts Theatre director under previous tenants Brasrat for eight months in 2009, leaving due to “artistic differences” with the management.
Kimpton is currently the Royal Shakespeare Company’s London manager and will continue in this role whilst managing the Arts Theatre. Whether there is likely to be any RSC involvement at the Arts at a later date is yet to be announced.
Kimpton has been quoted as saying, “The Arts needs to re-establish itself as a good place to come, for producers and also for audiences, and over the last few years it has struggled and I don’t understand why it has struggled. It has a prime location, it is an intimate house and therefore, why doesn’t it work? I used to run the Playhouse many years ago in Embankment, when it first opened in 1987, and there was a stigma attached to the Playhouse that nobody could find it, but since then it has been thriving. Having that track record, I feel I can prove myself at the Arts to make it a successful building.”
The Arts Theatre will reopen with Woody Sez, a play about Woody Guthrie, on January 13.