Festival and King’s Theatre Emergency Support Fund – a Film and Theatre crowdfunding project in Edinburgh by Capital Theatres

by crypto journalist

We want to prevent the closure of our theatres, and to continue bringing the arts to the wider community through our engagement work.

Capital Theatres is asking for donations to help ensure our three city centre theatres in Edinburgh (Festival Theatre, King’s Theatre, and The Studio) can re-open when it is safe to do so, and to ensure continued access to the arts for our most vulnerable communities during COVID-19. Please make a donation or pledge for one of exciting rewards.

Why are we crowdfunding?

Almost 90% of Capital Theatres’ income is generated from ticket sales. The sudden closure of our theatres in March meant an immediate loss of our main source of income. So far we have refunded 57,700 tickets with a value of over £2.6 million. The recent decision to postpone this year’s King’s Pantomime and the annual Christmas ballet until 2021 will result in a further £3.4 million loss of income. Currently 92% of our staff are furloughed to save costs, with the remainder skeleton staff working from home.

As a charitable organisation, we strive to make the arts accessible for all through our extensive Learning and Participating programme, and to provide our local community with health and wellbeing benefits. During this difficult time, we have continued to engage with the wider community online. Our extensive new digital engagement programme ‘Raise the Curtain’ offers wide-ranging opportunities for people to engage with the arts safely from home, from dementia friendly online music concerts, storytelling projects with Special Needs Schools and performance workshops with care experienced young adults. During June and July alone, we engaged with over 600 people each week through our digital activities. 

We are campaigning to receive emergency Government funding at the same level as other publicly supported theatres, which would allow us to continue to play our part in Edinburgh’s year-round thriving arts scene and support the local and national economy. 

We are currently planning to have performances back on our stages by Spring 2021, but social distancing measures currently in place would mean our theatres could only open at around 20% capacity which isn’t financially viable. Without significant external help, we will struggle to survive this prolonged period of closure with no ticket income.  We need funding to continue delivering our work behind closed doors and to prepare the theatres to reopen when we are able to safely do so.

In April we set up an emergency fundraising appeal, and have already raised an amazing £85,000 from the Capital Theatres’ family of supporters and Friends. We need to raise an additional £35,000 in vital funds to help sustain our operational costs over the winter months and continue to support our most vulnerable audiences through ‘Raise The Curtain’.

With your help we can…

We have created some exciting rewards to encourage further support to help us achieve our target, and plan to recognise all supporters of our emergency fund since March either on our website or in our venues at the end of our campaign.

Why it’s important to save theatres

Professor Alexander McCall Smith, King’s Ambassador and Author

“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.”

Grant Stott, Panto Baddie!

“The Kings 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.”

Family with lived experience of dementia

“You’ve really helped us get through the most terrible time. We can’t thank you enough for all your energy and effort for us.”

Bethany Kingsley-Garner, Principal Dancer, Scottish Ballet

“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.”

Ian Rankin, Scottish author and King’s Ambassador

Christopher Hampson, CEO/Artistic Director, Scottish Ballet

“Edinburgh is one of the cultural capitals of the world and, to me, these theatres are the beating heart of it. The atmosphere and connection between our dancers and the audiences at the Festival Theatre is magical. I have some very special memories from being a dancer, to choreographer and now leading Scottish Ballet and I look forward to making more in years to come.”

Edinburgh Gang Show

“All Gang members, past or present, young or young-in-heart, hold special memories of their involvement with the Edinburgh Gang Show at the King’s. There’s a popular song often included in our Finale called ‘Making Memories’ – we hope to be back to make more memories for many years to come at the King’s Theatre, Edinburgh.”

Ken Hay, CEO of Filmhouse and EIFF 

“Edinburgh is defined by its festivals and year round cultural offering – for local, national and international audiences.  Both the Festival and King’s Theatres are integral to that, with the Festival Theatre being a core partner of Edinburgh International Film Festival, hosting our major gala screenings each year. “

Fergus Linehan, Director, Edinburgh International Festival 

“Since its founding years, the Kings Theatre has been at the centre of the Edinburgh International Festival’s work.  Each August it has been home to the world’s greatest orchestras, singers, actors, and dancers.  Its fine acoustic and excellent stage/audience relationship has made it a true favourite with Festival artists and audiences.  As the demands of staging changed, Edinburgh responded with the development of the Festival Theatre. The Festival Theatre ensured that the Festival and Edinburgh’s reputation as the world’s Festival city were secured for future generations.  While allowing the Festival to properly reflect the ambition of the world’s major opera and dance companies, it also freed the Kings up to become a Festival centre for drama and mid-scale opera and dance.  In addition to the buildings, the personnel at both venues have crucial skills and experience of working at the highest possible level.  It would be simply impossible to stage a Festival of international stature without the Kings Theatre and Festival Theatre.” 

Andy Gray, Scottish actor and Panto star

Edinburgh Leisure, Corporate Partners

“So many industries have suffered as a result of COVID-19 but none more so that the theatre industry and the creative arts. As one of our corporate partners, Capital Theatres and the other theatre venues across the city play such an important part with all the activity that takes place within them, to the economy, for people’s mental health and the city’s thriving arts scene, and of course to theatregoers and our local communities.”

About Capital Theatres

As Scotland’s largest theatre charity, our vision is to inspire a life-long love of theatre. We employ 230 staff, and welcome over 500,000 people each year to our three city centre theatre venues, to enjoy our fantastic programme of performances from musicals, drama, dance, ballet, opera, comedy, live music, screenings and children’s shows. In addition, our accessible performances are vital for people who otherwise wouldn’t be able to enjoy the shows on our stages. 

The King’s Theatre in Tollcross is at the heart of Edinburgh’s cultural community, delighting local audiences each year with the annual King’s Pantomime, The Gang Show and performances by many of Edinburgh’s local amateur dramatic companies. 

The Festival Theatre is home to our National Performing Companies, including Scottish Ballet and Scottish Opera, and our venues are integral to Edinburgh’s Festivals, including The Edinburgh International Festival, The Jazz and Blues Festival and the Edinburgh International Film Festival.

Our charitable work delivers an exciting, year-round programme of engagement for those inherently less likely to engage with, and access, quality arts experiences including older communities; those in care home environments; children at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children; BAME communities around the Festival Theatre; children and young people with multiple and complex needs; people living with dementia and other neurodegenerative diseases; communities in areas of multiple deprivation; deaf and blind communities and individuals; and care experienced children and young people; all at a disadvantage in accessing quality Arts experiences.

Our venues provide working space for Edinburgh Performing Arts Development (EPAD), which supports independent performing arts companies and artists based in Edinburgh, and also exhibition and learning spaces for local colleges and universities.

As a registered charity we are 100% not for profit, with any surplus annual income re-invested year on year into the upkeep of our venues.  

About Save Our Theatres

In villages, towns and cities across the country, theatres are at the heart of their community. Places to come together, to be inspired and be entertained. Theatres are where our best-loved actors learn their craft and thousands of others learn valuable skills. 

But we risk losing this forever.

Without urgent support, we could lose our nation’s amazing theatres. Please help us to make sure our theatres survive this crisis and will be there to be enjoyed by future generations.


Please donate, share this page widely and do what you can to help us to make sure our theatre survive this crisis. 

This content was originally published here.

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