Blackburn and Darwen are at the forefront of a national fundraising campaign that has been launched by the Theatres Trust in partnership Crowdfunder.co.uk to save theatres across the UK.
King George’s Hall and Darwen Library Theatre are two of just 40 theatres across the country that helped launch the campaign on Tuesday 8 September.
Theatres across the United Kingdom, large and small, are uniting in this nationwide campaign to fight to #SaveOurTheatres. The campaign has also already garnered celebrity support from the acclaimed actor and Theatres Trust Ambassador, Jude Law.
In villages, towns and cities across the country, theatres are at the heart of their community. They are places to come together, to be inspired and be entertained.
Theatres are where our best-loved actors learn their craft and thousands of others learn valuable skills. However, we could lose our theatres forever. Theatres saw their main source of income disappear in an instant when they closed in March in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Six months later, theatres still don’t know when they will be able to reopen fully. A decision won’t be made until November at the earliest – too late for most to put on their annual pantomime, which often provides the income to support the theatre for the rest of the year. This ongoing uncertainty puts theatres in a perilous situation. The government’s bailout is spread across all cultural organisations and won’t be enough to save all of the UK’s theatres.
Rebecca Weaver, Programming and Marketing Manager at King George’s Hall, Blackburn, said: “King Georges Hall will be 100 years old next year and its imperative that we raise enough funds to preserve our beloved historic theatre so that it can be enjoyed by future generations for the next 100 years, and beyond. It was created as a public hall to bring communities together and we need to enable it to continue to do so.
“Without your help, King George’s Hall & Darwen Library Theatre risks permanent closure because over 80% of our income comes from trading; ticket sales, bar sales and room hires, all of which has ceased due to the global pandemic.”
Jude Law, actor and Theatres Trust Ambassador is backing the campaign. He said: “Growing up I was fortunate to be taken to theatres regularly and this was where my love of acting first began. To this day nothing beats the magic of live performance and the connection between audience and performer.
“We are lucky to have so many amazing theatres, from historic playhouses like Theatre Royal Margate to ground-breaking community spaces like Greenwich to intimate pub theatres like Hampstead’s Pentameters. But coronavirus has simply devastated our theatre sector.
“Communities across the UK are in real danger of losing their theatres forever and we risk losing a precious part of national culture and heritage. Theatres are a vital community hub that bring joy to millions of people each year and we must try and save these theatres for generations to come.
“As a Theatres Trust Ambassador, I’m delighted to support the Save Our Theatres campaign, which is raising valuable funds to support theatres throughout the country. Please do give whatever you can to support this campaign.”
To support your local theatres in Blackburn and Darwen you can visit the Crowdfunder page:
Or Darwen Library Theatre: https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/darwen-library-theatre