Fundraising campaign to save Kidderminster theatre tops £16,000

The curtain is set to rise again at The Rose Theatre in Kidderminster after a successful appeal launched by actor John Challis.

The Crowdfunding appeal has raised more than £16,000 to help the theatre, off Chester Road North, survive.

This was helped by John, patron of the theatre who is best known for playing the character Boycie in the television comedy series Only Fools and Horses.

In March he appealed for people to help to save the theatre which is where he first trod the boards as a young actor.

The Nonentities Society, which owns the theatre, badly needed funds to stay afloat after having to remain closed because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

John made an impassioned plea for people across the Wyre Forest area to get behind the campaign with the message "Help save The Rose, you know it makes sense".

Now officials are delighted that the initial appeal for £15,000 has been reached and further donations have flooded into the coffers.

John said: "We mustn't lose this great little theatre and I am so thrilled there are plans to relaunch.

"I can't wait to visit soon and I wish them every success."

Anne Booth, publicity manager for the theatre, said: "We are delighted by how things are going.

"The appeal has over-topped our target and the money will enable us to pay for roof repairs and essential maintenance that has to be done to get the theatre open.

"We have been overwhelmed by messages of support and at the moment we are expected to be allowed to open to audiences about June 21."

Bob Graham, chairman of The Nonentities Society, said that to keep the theatre going, maintained and the bills paid cost about £1,000 each month.

He said: "The recent Government announcements have given hope that The Rose will be able to open but this will be to restricted audiences."

The theatre has a limited number of tickets on sale for a series of monologues due to start on June 23 and running to June 26.

In July Fright Night is set to be launched, featuring tales from Edgar Alan Poe and Charles Dickens.

Tickets are available by calling the box office on 01562 743745.

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