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Watermill Theatre launches fundraising appeal after missing out on government support

Watermill Theatre. Photo by Philip Tull.

Newbury's Watermill Theatre has launched a fundraising appeal after failing to secure government support.

Sadly, The Watermill did not qualify for funding from the Government's £1.5 billion arts industry bailout.

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It has launched a new fundraising campaign to ensure its future survival. Donations to the FULL HOUSE appeal will help The Watermill navigate through these difficult times enabling the theatre to continue to tell brilliant stories in imaginative ways for its audiences.

The riverside venue in Berkshire reopened on 22 September with a socially distanced one-man show, Bloodshot, performed by award-winning composer and actor Simon Slater. Bloodshot is the first of three productions planned for the theatre’s socially distanced autumn season, featuring shows with smaller cast sizes, reduced capacity inside the auditorium and socially distanced seating to enable audiences to get back to watching the very best live theatre.

However, with safety of the utmost priority and a variety of new measures introduced to aid social distancing, the number of audience members the theatre can welcome to each performance has been significantly reduced.

As a result, The Watermill Theatre is calling for donations to its new FULL HOUSE appeal. The registered arts charity is requesting support to help overcome the effects of reducing its seating capacity during this unprecedented period.

To find out more and make a donation to The Watermill Theatre’s FULL HOUSE appeal, please visit: watermill.org.uk or call the Box Office on 01635 46044.

Artistic and Executive Director, Paul Hart said: "We are delighted to bring live theatre to The Watermill’s stage once again and have loved welcoming audiences back. Undoubtedly the audience experience will look and feel quite different at the theatre this season as we have implemented lots of new measures to help with social distancing and to keep everyone safe. Unfortunately, operating in this way means we are only able to sell approximately 37% of the seats in our auditorium - we usually aim to reach in excess of 80% capacity to break-even.

"From the feedback we have received already, the uplifting effect that live theatre has on audiences is clear and we are determined to continue creating ambitious and exciting theatre for people of all ages to enjoy, but operating at such a reduced capacity involves a high level of financial risk. Sadly, The Watermill did not qualify for funding from the Government's £1.5 billion arts industry bailout so - now more than ever - your support towards our FULL HOUSE appeal will make a dramatic difference."

Photo by Philip Tull.

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