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Kenneth More Theatre boss celebrates fundraising success

PUBLISHED: 10:00 26 March 2016

Shots from Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musical Carousel at the KMT

Shots from Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musical Carousel at the KMT

Archant

The manager of the Kenneth More Theatre feels confident that the show will go on, following staff’s latest efforts to keep the establishment running.

A huge cast of 123 actors and musicians came together in front of two jam-packed audiences for performances of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musical Carousel, in a bid to raise vital funds for the venue, in Oakfield Road, Ilford.

And manager Steven Day is now feeling “very positive” following the success of the fundraisers, held last month, which collected a staggering £16,500.

“It was a really great beginning,” he said.

“It feels like a step forward to know that we made that much money, which will help us so much. Now we just need to keep going.”

The shows, which were the biggest the theatre had ever put on, were a roaring success despite a lack of rehearsal time, said Steven.

“It felt very rushed before but it came off fantastically, despite the stress,” he told the Recorder.

“Everyone who was there wanted to be there to support the theatre.

“Normally we have much more time to prepare, but this time we did everything in a day.

“Luckily the orchestra had played a lot of the music before, which was a great help.”

In January, Redbridge Council announced it was withdrawing council grants of £157,000 a year to the theatre, starting in 2018.

But Steven said theatre staff are now optimistically planning for its future, with more fundraising efforts in the pipeline.

“In some ways, we feel lucky, we have two years to plan for this,” he said. “I just hope that we can continue the momentum.”

For its next fundraiser, the theatre is planning a memorial evening on July 30 to celebrate the life of Barbara Hills, a stalwart on the Redbridge theatre scene.

Steven said: “She was the backbone of the KMT.

“She worked tirelessly across the whole organisation and is greatly missed. The evening will be full of music, singing and anecdotes, just as Barbara would have wanted.”

To donate to the theatre, visit kmtheatre.co.uk/support-us or join their club, which provides discounted tickets and other benefits, in return for an annual fee of £11.


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