The Artistic Director, Ryan Bishti, was struck by the Windmill Theatre when he went to see a performance there and vowed to restore it to its former glory. Ryan Bishti met with the building’s current owner, The Crown Estate, to restore the building and its iconic old-world look. Two years of planning and design came to a head, and The Windmill Theatre re-opened in June 2016.
With the help of the Royal Society of Arts, the restoration was funded entirely by private investors and not by the taxpayer. The generous support of other investors, government grants, and generous in-kind contributions made the estimated £3 million restorations possible.
The Windmill Theatre’s Return
With the theatre in a sorry state, unable to put on any of its planned live events, a group of local artists set out to find new tenants to run the venue. They drew up a list of London’s best arts and cultural institutions and based it on recommendations and advice from Windmill resident Anthony Minghella.
The list was presented to the Lord Mayor of London, his office, and the Greater London Authority, which offered the space for a ten-year lease at no rent to a multi-arts organization. A major new nightlife development was born. “We went from this derelict, abandoned building to a major cultural anchor for the community quickly,” said Walia, “and we want to make sure it lasts for another 20 years.
Actors and Performers
The new Windmill Theatre will be celebrating its relaunch with a series of exclusive performances from established stage, screen, and comedy talent. In the spring, Ruby Wax will be performing a brand new show called ‘A Brief History of Time,’ the first-ever production of this show was previously performed by Alexei Sayle. Next up, Richard Gadd will be touring his top-rated series of musical plays in the UK from 16th June to 20th July.
Richard is known to all as a highly talented performer. His career includes roles in: ‘A Taste of Honey,’ ‘Open All Hours,’ ‘The Benny Hill Show,’ ‘Hello, Dolly!’, ‘Time and the Conways,’ ‘Doctor Who’ and ‘The National Theatre of Great Britain: Abbey. He has won two Olivier Awards.