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The Drill Hall
The Drill Hall
16 Chenies Street
Architect Samuel Knight
Owned by Central London Arts
Capacity 200 seats
Type Studio theatre
Opened 1984
Previous names 1882 Bloomsbury Rifles
Coordinates: 51°31′14″N 0°07′57″W / 51.520556°N 0.1325°W / 51.520556; -0.1325

The Drill Hall is a theatrical venue in Bloomsbury in the London Borough of Camden, just to the east of Tottenham Court Road. It contains rehearsal rooms and meeting rooms, and two small theatres - the 200-seat Drill Hall 1 and a 50-seat studio space, known as Drill Hall 2. Its name derives from its original use, as a drill hall for the Bloomsbury Rifles. It became a theatre in the 1980s after many years of being used as a rehearsal hall and, in the 1960s, as an art gallery for the Tate Gallery’s exhibition of the McAlpine Collection. It has a notable artistic history, in the 1900s, Diaghilev and the Ballet Russes rehearsed here. During World War II it was used for Ralph Reader's Gang Shows.

Since 1984, The Drill Hall has particularly supported production of theatrical and artistic works with gay and lesbian themes. It has also been one of several venues used by the BBC as a studio for radio shows which are recorded in front of a live studio audience.

The Drill Hall has an annual turnover of £1.25 million; previously this was supported with £250,000 of Arts Council funding. In late 2007, the Council announced it was withdrawing this funding to concentrate its funding on other ventures. Similar fates befell 194 other arts organisations.[1]


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