Fire Exit theatre company has announced it will close permanently at the end of June 2019, after 17 years. This follows Creative Scotland’s decision last year to cut the company’s funding completely. Artistic Director David Leddy plans to stop making theatre and pursue a new career.
The announcement comes one day before Leddy will appear at Holyrood to give evidence to the Scottish Parliament Culture Committee’s arts funding inquiry on 30th May 2019.
Before closure, the company will publish two legacy books on 20th June:
• PYROMANIAC: 25 Years of David Leddy and Fire Exit Theatre is a deluxe art book presented as a signed and numbered limited edition.
• HITS & MISSES: Collected Plays 2006-2019 features all of Leddy’s play texts in one e-book, including four plays that were written but will now never be staged.
REACTIONS TO FIRE EXIT’S CLOSURE:
MARK THOMAS, Comedian and theatre maker said: “Coriolanus Vanishes is one of the most daring and intense shows I have seen and the prospect of losing David Leddy from theatre is an absolute f***ing travesty.”
ANDY ARNOLD, Artistic Director of the Tron Theatre said: “I’m extremely sad to see the demise of such a groundbreaking and innovative company as Fire Exit. I have personally enjoyed working with David and his team on their many collaborations with the Tron and Scottish theatre will undoubtedly be the poorer for such a loss. It makes no sense.”
LOUISE WELSH, Novelist said: “Inventive and original, sometimes shocking, sometimes tender, always intelligent, Fire Exit productions have gifted me stunning theatrical memories. I will be forever grateful.”
CORA BISSETT, Associate Director at National Theatre of Scotland said: “I was deeply saddened to hear of the closure of David Leddy’s Fire Exit company, following the bizarre funding decision of Creative Scotland the year previous. David constantly surprised, subverted, provoked and invented and was an ingenious theatre maker. The company’s closure is a huge loss to Scottish theatre but I know too that David will turn his considerable imagination to other creative paths and I look forward to seeing what he gives birth to.”