Scotland’s largest theatre charity Capital Theatres, that operates Edinburgh’s King’s Theatre, Festival Theatre and The Studio, has launched a Crowdfunder campaign in an urgent appeal for support to prevent the closure of the King’s Theatre and continue bringing the arts to the wider community through its vital engagement work.
The charity is asking for donations to help ensure its three city centre theatres can re-open when it is safe to do so, and to ensure continued access to creativity and the arts for the most vulnerable communities during COVID-19.
Launched on 8th September, the Crowdfunder has already raised over £50,000, exceeding its original target of £35,000. It now has 15 days to reach its new stretch target of £60,000.
Donations to the Crowdfunder appeal can be made on their website until 6th October 2020 with rewards to encourage further support to help reach the fundraising target. Capital Theatres’ plan is to recognise all supporters of the emergency fund, either through their website or in their venues at the end of the campaign and new rewards are being added. Part of the rewards is a Scottish Ballet prize with signed pointe shoes from Principal Beth Kingsley-Garner, who said, “Edinburgh Festival Theatre is where the magic happens, my second home. To experience live theatre is to be transported to another place, where audience and performers become one. Sharing emotions with the audience creates magical moments for me, as a dancer on stage.”
There is also the opportunity to go on-stage and meet the cast of the beloved King’s Panto after the 2021 show Sleeping Beauty and Edinburgh’s favourite Panto Baddie, Grant Stott, said “The King’s Theatre has seen World Wars, tram systems, Goldbergs and Mr Boni’s all come and go. We have to do what we can to make sure she’s still here to see what this brilliant City of Edinburgh does next.”
Almost 90% of Capital Theatres’ income is generated from ticket sales. The sudden closure of theatres in March meant an immediate loss of Capital Theatres’ main source of income.
Capital Theatres is currently actively campaigning to receive emergency Government funding at the same level as other publicly supported theatres, which would allow the theatres to continue to play a vital part in Edinburgh’s year-round thriving arts scene and support the local and national economy. A petition calling on the Scottish Government to recognise the scale of emergency facing Capital Theatres on Change.org has already secured over 10,000 signatures in just 5 days.
The current plan is to have performances back on stages at The King’s, Festival Theatre and The Studio by Spring 2021, but social distancing measures currently in place would mean theatres could only open at around 20% capacity which isn’t financially viable. Without significant external help, Capital Theatres will struggle to survive this prolonged period of closure with no ticket income. Funding is urgently needed to continue delivering work behind closed doors and to prepare the theatres to reopen when it is possible to safely do so.
Crowdfunder has waived its fee and is covering transaction fees for theatres affected by the pandemic so the full amount donated will reach Capital Theatres.