The Roses Theatre marks the end of an incredible year with the final performances of its annual panto, Beauty and the Beast, this January 2024.
For the Tewkesbury theatre, 2023 was a big one, which saw it complete a significant refurbishment and create a brand-new bar area; as well as host comedy legend Bill Bailey, celebrate record-breaking ticket sales for its pantomime and grow the numbers on its Roses Young Creatives youth theatre programme from six to more than 100.
The 2024 programme is looking equally as impressive with standout shows to look forward to, including the inaugural Two Rivers Converge festival in February, the Scummy Mummies in March and Russell Kane in May, with ambitious plans to continue supporting the community throughout the new year, too.
To help support its plans, its Buck Up Backstage campaign is coming back this year to continue funding the refurbishment of the 1970s building, helping make it more accessible for audience members and performers. The theatre is also fundraising for a new projector for its cinema.
Currently, the charity faces a £230,000 gap in funding — even if it sells all the tickets for every show — and relies on donations from generous patrons and businesses to continue providing its diverse range of community groups and programmes, including the Roses Young Creatives youth theatre, The Roses Choir, its singing for wellbeing group, Infinite Creativity Club for neurodivegent people and its K2 Togs knitting group.
It offers a number of ways to get involved with fundraising, from signing up for a membership from just £4.17 a month to making a one-off donation to the Buck Up Backstage campaign online or via text.
Local businesses can also get involved through its Business Patron scheme for just £500 a year, where they'll receive 20 tickets to a film screening of choice; food and drink packages in the cafe and bar; advertising in the quarterly brochure; and invitations to networking events throughout the year.
Or they can choose to sponsor a show, community group or even a specific part of the refurbishment project — with options like sponsoring a young person's place on the Roses Young Creatives programme costing £350 per year; sponsoring the Sing for Wellbeing Choir costing £2,400 a year; or sponsoring a dressing room costing from £5,000 a year.
The theatre is always grateful for in kind support, too, so businesses which can help with things like costumes, sets and lighting can make bespoke arrangements with the team.
The Roses Theatre's director, Jess Brewer, said: 'The Roses Theatre is at the heart of Tewkesbury's community. Our mission isn't just to provide top class entertainment, but to bring people together and provide, safe, inclusive spaces for everyone.
'The success of our Roses Young Creatives programme is testament to how valuable these opportunities are for local people, but we rely on the generosity of our patrons and friends to keep these groups going, so we would encourage anyone who can to support our ongoing work throughout 2024 and beyond.'
To find out more about supporting The Roses Theatre, visit rosestheatre.org/support-us.