Cheltenham Playhouse Theatre crowdfunding appeal reaches milestone

A crowdfunding appeal to save the Playhouse Theatre in Cheltenham from closure has raised more than £15,000 – with donations from Netflix acting stars, Gloucestershire businesses and an army of local supporters.

More than 15,000 has been crowdfunded for the Playhouse Theatre in Cheltenham, so far.
More than £15,000 has been crowdfunded for the Playhouse Theatre in Cheltenham, so far.

An ambitious crowdfunding appeal to raise £100,000 for Cheltenham’s Playhouse Theatre has just passed the £15,000 mark.

The appeal was launched after the Playhouse Theatre in Cheltenham had its application turned down for £50,000 of funding from Arts Council England’s Culture Recovery Fund, which it described as a ‘kick in the teeth’ at the time.

Saddened by the decision, Cheltenham-based photographer James Fear set up the appeal, and decided to ‘shoot for the stars’ with the £100,000 target – which would roughly cover a year of overheads. He has since said that the response has been ‘mind-blowing’.

Donations have included £1,000 from former St Edward’s pupil and Charlton Kings resident, Josh O’Connor, who was nominated for a BAFTA for his lead role in God’s Own Country and also appears in The Crown on Netflix. With more than 600 individuals and businesses, including Tokytattoo Studios, also raising funds.

A spokesperson for the Playhouse Theatre said: ‘Any income coming in is fantastic and we’re grateful. The whole arts and performance industry really needs this help more than ever right now.’

Due to celebrate its 75th anniversary in 2021, the Playhouse Theatre hosts a range of community and amateur theatre groups, local bands, choirs, parent and toddler groups, as well as improvised comedy and drama – with an outpouring of local support on social media in a bid to protect this local treasure.

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