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BossyBuyout: All-female online group starts £3 million campaign to buy Theatre Royal Haymarket

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In a bid to create 'stronger more positive female-led art' an online female creative has begun a campaign to buy the Theatre Royal Haymarket. 

The 'BossyBuyout' campaign was started yesterday by Natalie Durkin of the 'Bossy' creative group, after the Grade I listed Theatre Royal Haymarket was put on the market. 

Durkin set up a GoFundMe page with a goal of £3 million, of which it has so far raised £400. 

'I put out a jokey question to see if anyone would be interested in crowdfunding, but the support was immense and I thought, why not?' Durkin says. 

The exact asking price of the historic theatre, which has seen the opening nights of Oscar Wilde plays and was John Gielgud's home during the Blitz, is unknown. It was opened in 1720 on Suffolk Street, making it the third-oldest playhouse in London, and moved to its current West End location in 1821.

The 13,000-strong 'bossy' collective is centred on a Facebook group, and is designed to support women and non-binary people in the creative industries. 'Recently though it's become a power force of positivity, motivation and empowerment in the wake of #timesup, #metoo and #yearofthewoman,' Durkin explains. 

Admitting the ambitious nature of the bid, the campaign page declares that if unsuccessful, all funds raised will be put towards a female arts week. 

And if it succeeds? All those who donate to the campaign will receive shares in the theatre, dependent on the donation amount, and all shareholders will then be given a say in its running.

The theatre will then be operated with a focus on female and non-binary support, but not without imput from men. 'The idea is to create strong female-led work, but not to be female exclusive,' Durkin says. 'The same for management - you can't have rounded theatre without a male point of view.'

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