Capital Theatres, Scotland’s largest theatre charity, has launched a Crowdfunder campaign in an urgent appeal for support to prevent the closure of Edinburgh’s King’s Theatre and Festival Theatre and to continue bringing the arts to the wider community through its vital engagement work. Since its launch on 8th September, the appeal has raised over £55,000, exceeding its original target of £35,000. The campaign will close on 6th October and has promised prize-draw rewards such as signed pointe shoes from Scottish Ballet’s Principal Dancer Beth Kingsley-Garner, the opportunity to go on-stage and meet the cast of the beloved King’s Panto after the 2021 show Sleeping Beauty, and a limited edition poem (illustrated in print) about the King’s Theatre by King’s Ambassador Alexander McCall Smith.
The charity has also posted a petition on Change.org, which is heading toward 12,000 signatures, calling on the Scottish Government to recognise the scale of emergency facing Capital Theatres and grant emergency Government funding at the same level as other publicly supported theatres, allowing the theatres to continue to play a vital part in Edinburgh’s year-round thriving arts scene and support the local and national economy.
Friends and supporters have voiced their support for the appeal: author Alexander McCall Smith has said,’The King’s Theatre is part of the soul of Edinburgh. All of us who live in and love this city cherish a deep affection for this wonderful institution. It needs our support now – and I am sure that there will be many who will give that support with readiness and love.’, while panto baddie Grant Stott adds, ‘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.’. Scottish Ballet’s Principal Dancer Bethany Kingsley-Garner, 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.’ Fergus Linehan, Director, Edinburgh International Festival and author Ian Rankin added their support.
The sudden closure of the theatres has meant a devastating and immediate loss of income from ticket sales and trading – over 52,900 tickets, with a value of over £2.5m, have been refunded, and the postponement of the pantomime production to next year will result in a further £2.3m loss. The theatres are recognised for the work they do to make the arts accessible for all through their extensive Learning and Participating programme, providing the local community with immeasurable health and wellbeing benefits.
Image: King’s Theatre Edinburgh. Image Capital Theatres