It would be a bitter pill to swallow if once we are allowed to go places there is nowhere to go.
The Royal & Derngate this week launched an appeal for donations to help it get back on its feet once the Coronavius lockdown is ended.
It is not a shrill or melodramatic request for help but a statement was released that sets out the facts fairly and squarely – 90 per cent of its funding comes from ticket sales and obviously there haven’t been any for two months.
Royal & Derngate statement:
Royal & Derngate and Northampton Filmhouse are launching a fundraising appeal asking audiences to help them navigate challenging times for the cultural sector.
Like many businesses across the county, COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on the venues.
The organisation earns close to 90% of its income through ticket sales and bar revenue, all of which was wiped out overnight with the enforced closure of public spaces on 18th March. Such an immediate and unanticipated loss of income is unprecedented, with the theatres estimating more than 40,000 tickets cancelled or postponed since that point. With 85% of the venue’s 230+ employees now furloughed, the executive team, board and stakeholders are working towards re-opening when government restrictions and health advice allows. All are passionately committed to helping ensure a positive future for this much-loved cultural venue which delivers more than £28million to the local economy every year, welcomes close to half a million audience members annually and has a vital role to play in the regeneration of the town centre.
James Dacre, Artistic Director, commented; “At Royal & Derngate, we’ve always been proud to be a place where communities come together. As we emerge from the current crisis, our role in bringing people together to share stories will be more important than ever. Whether that’s the thousands of artists and local people we champion on our stages every year, or the young and marginalised people whose talents we help to develop. Before the pandemic, we were entertaining more people than ever before. Our diverse programme drew tens of thousands of local people to the theatre each month, as well as touring around the UK – including West End transfers for four of our homegrown Made in Northampton productions this season alone.”
Marking the 136th birthday of the founding of the Royal Theatre, the Help Bring Us Back Together campaign highlights the many things the public can do to help support the venues and play their part in securing Royal & Derngate’s future, ensuring that it can continue to build upon its success. This is much more than just donating – customers are being encouraged to book tickets for events later in the year – including hit musical SIX and the annual pantomime; buy vouchers for gifts or become a year-long member.
Jo Gordon, Chief Executive, Royal & Derngate continues “We want to thank everyone who has been so supportive since we closed. We have been bowled over by all the messages of solidarity and encouragement, and the many people who have already helped by choosing to donate or accept voucher credit, rather than a refund, when their show has been cancelled. We are very aware that there are many people in need across the town and county at this difficult time, but we hope that more people might now consider making a donation to help bring us back together, when it’s safe to do so. We have an awful lot to look forward to!”