The fundraising appeal to help transform the Alnwick Playhouse has passed a major landmark.
As part of the deal for the £3.3million refurbishment of the iconic building, the Playhouse must itself raise £800,000.
That will finance a new food and drink area, new auditorium seating, a new get-in lift, studio adaptations and refurbishment throughout.
At the end of August, the theatre staff launched a public appeal, Show Your Support, and since then donations have been flooding in.
And now we can reveal the fund has passed the magic £600,000 mark, with the totaliser now standing at £613,202.
Playhouse manager Jo Potts said: “We have been delighted by the response to the public campaign by the community.
“For the first time in the history of the Playhouse, seat naming has been offered to supporters and the response has been fantastic.
“All the team have been deeply humbled to hear such heart-warming stories of love and support for the theatre spanning back years with every seat dedication.
“The stories range from loyal supporters who have sadly passed on but spent years either onstage or in the audience at the Playhouse.
“There have been stories about those who met for the first time at the Playhouse and have now spent over 30 years together happily married and those who simply wish the Playhouse every success for the future.
“It has been a brilliant start to the campaign and I can’t wait for the time when we re-open the auditorium to the public and see all those dedication plaques, knowing that behind every plaque is a wonderful story for our beloved Playhouse.
“Thank you to each and every person who has dedicated a seat, a step or made a donation so far.”
If you have already donated to the appeal and would like your Playhouse story published in the Gazette, contact the team at the Playhouse on 01665 660683.
THREE WAYS IN WHICH YOU CAN HELP
The Playhouse has suggested three ways in which you can help to raise the money required to complete the refurbishment.
1. LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, PLEASE TAKE YOUR SEATS…
For the first time, the theatre is offering you the chance to name a Playhouse auditorium seat. For a donation of £250, you can have a dedication written for you, your family, or perhaps in memory of someone special who loved going to the theatre in Alnwick. If all 260 seats sell, the target of £65,000 will be reached. Visit the Playhouse website at www.supportyourplayhouse.co.uk or call staff on 01665 510785 and tell them the message that you would like inscribed on the brass seat plaque which will be fitted to the back of the seat. Your name will also feature on the Playhouse thank-you website page (if you wish). Seat plaques will remain in place for a minimum of 10 years. Corporate dedications are also welcome.
2. TAKE A STEP UP FOR THE PLAYHOUSE
This is an unprecedented opportunity to support the Playhouse by adopting a step on the new-look spiral staircase. Each adopted step will feature a plaque fixed to the riser with your name written onto it. With only 26 steps, this is a very limited chance for the venue’s greatest supporters to make their mark on this appeal. A donation of £1,000 will allow the Playhouse to really step up its fund-raising appeal and will be remembered by all visitors. Due to the clean and elegant design of the staircase, these plaques can include your name, or family name only. Your name will also feature on a donor board in the Playhouse foyer.
3. MAKE A DONATION
Would you like to donate to the appeal without adopting a seat or a step? The Playhouse would be very grateful for your support. You can give via www.supportyourplayhouse.co.uk or by calling 01665 510785.