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Give The Gift of Panto This Christmas

Posted on 14 November 2014

Following the success of last year’s Give The Gift Of Theatre campaign, Coventry’s Belgrade Theatre is once again asking the people of Coventry and Warwickshire to dig deep in support of families facing financial hardship at Christmas.

For children and adults alike, a visit to the theatre at Christmas is a magical experience, creating memories that will last a lifetime. Unfortunately, many families across the region will miss out on the experience this year. For others, an over-Christmas stay in in hospital or a hospice, or for elderly people in nursing homes, may mean that they are physically unable to visit the theatre.

The Belgrade Theatre’s Give The Gift of Theatre Campaign aims to provide at least 400 people, referred through Coventry Foodbanks’ referral partners, with tickets to a performance of Aladdin. Building on the success of previous campaigns, money raised through this year’s Give The Gift Of Theatre campaign will help support a specially recorded performance of Aladdin to be shown at University Hospital Coventry, Birmingham Children’s Hospital and Warwick Hospital plus selected Nursing Homes around the city including The Beaufort, Charwood House, Herald Lodge, Myton Hospice and Keresley Wood.

In order to spread the magic of panto even further this Christmas, the Belgrade Theatre is asking the public to help raise £11,000 by Friday 12 December 2014.

Belgrade Theatre have joined forces with Local Giving.com who have agreed to match up to £10 of all donations received through their website. A donation of just £7.75 will provide a child who wouldn’t otherwise be going to the Pantomime with a free ticket to see the show. A donation of £31 will provide a family facing severe financial hardship with tickets to the Pantomime. A donation of £200 will pay for an entertainer to treat patients to a memorable morning of entertainment whilst a donation of £500 will pay for the filming and editing of a performance of pantomime to be shown in a local hospital or hospice this Christmas.

Joanna Reid, the Belgrade’s Executive Director said “There is nothing like the communal experience of live theatre to lift the spirits and make people feel they are having a special time. Too many people in Coventry & Warwickshire will be facing financial hardship or ill health this Christmas, when not being able to take part or not being able to give their children any kind of treat during the Festive time increases their sense of isolation. These are the people that in the past our audiences and partner businesses have been able to help take part in this great Christmas tradition. Providing free tickets to people who are struggling financially, or access to a recorded performance into Hospitals, Hospices and Nursing Homes is a great way for us all to let people know that they are not alone at Christmas. I’m sure that once again the generous people and businesses in this region will help to make this a magical Christmas experience for more of our neighbours.”

Another fun way to support the campaign is by taking part in the Belgrade Theatre’s Enchanted Lamp Hunt running from 1 – 22 Dec at West Orchards Shopping Centre. Hidden in shop windows across Coventry City Centre are a series of enchanted letters that together make up the magic words that Aladdin needs to unlock the secrets of the lamp. By collecting the letters and unlocking the ‘secret password’, participants will automatically be entered into a free prize draw to win a family ticket to see Horrible Histories at the Belgrade Theatre. Entry forms are available to collect from the Belgrade Box Office and from participating retailers located throughout West Orchards Shopping Centre. You can also download a copy of the entry form from the Belgrade Theatre website at www.belgrade.co.uk/gift. Entrants will be asked to make a small voluntary donation when they return their entry forms.

To make a donation to the Belgrade’s Give The Gift Of Theatre campaign, call: 024 7684 6758 or visit www,localgiving.com/charity/belgradetheatre. All funds raised will help ensure that families who are facing financial hardship and people spending the Christmas period in a hospital, hospice or nursing home will not miss out on seeing this year’s Belgrade pantomime, Aladdin.

Tickets for Aladdin are available now from the Belgrade’s Box Office on 024 7655 3055 priced from £13.50 to £22.25, with child and concession tickets from £10.50. Family tickets are priced from £36 to £62 and cheaper tickets can be purchased online via www.belgrade.co.uk.

ENDS

For further media information or images please contact Kate Evans on T: 024 7684 6715 E: Kevans@belgrade.co.uk

Notes to editors:

About The Belgrade Theatre Trust: The Belgrade Theatre Trust (Coventry) Ltd is a registered charity (No 219163), so all of the money raised and earned by the theatre is reinvested in the services it provides to the local community. Amongst other things, these services include, creating and staging high quality productions on the Main Stage and in B2, working with young people and local communities via the Community & Education Company and developing the careers of young people who want to work in the arts.

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