Actress backs theatre's campaign
ACCLAIMED actress Prunella Scales yesterday backed the New Wolsey Theatre's major fundraising campaign.The star of stage and screen, who has toured with the show An Evening With Queen Victoria for the last 29 years, praised the Ipswich auditorium as a shining example of what regional theatre is all about as she pledged her support to the Name A Seat campaign.
By Andrew Clarke
ACCLAIMED actress Prunella Scales yesterday backed the New Wolsey Theatre's major fundraising campaign.
The star of stage and screen, who has toured with the show An Evening With Queen Victoria for the last 29 years, praised the Ipswich auditorium as a shining example of what regional theatre is all about as she pledged her support to the Name A Seat campaign.
“Sadly regional theatre is terribly neglected by central government and the Name A Seat campaign is a wonderful way of raising money and represents wonderful value for money,” she said.
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“As a performer the last thing I want is an audience always fidgeting and moving about because they are uncomfortable. On the other hand I don't want them so comfortable that the audience drops off. The Wolsey's new seating is absolutely superb. It's large enough to be comfortable but happily doesn't squeak or creak when you are sitting in it which can be terribly distracting for both audience and actors.”
She added: “As a performer I can make contact with everyone in the auditorium. I can see everyone and everyone can see me. It's a wonderful intimate space and makes the show - or any show - a wonderful engaging experience.”
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She said that although East Anglia was well served by theatres at Chelmsford, Colchester, Ipswich, Norwich and Bury St Edmunds, a lot of the country was starved of live theatre.
“The days of weekly rep have probably gone for good, which on reflection is probably not a bad thing - but the three weekly or monthly rep is an entirely different matter. That's where actors learn their trade, gain experience of different writers and different types of performance and its criminal that, regionally, theatre has the least investment from central government of any country in Europe with the exception of Portugal.
“That's why I wanted to support the New Wolsey's Name A Seat Campaign - it's a valuable source of revenue at a time when all regional theatre is being starved of money. Not only is theatre an important part of our cultural heritage and identity, it is also an important source of income from tourists as our theatre is quite rightly renowned across the world.”
The Name A Seat Campaign gives individuals the chance to put their name or message on one of the theatre's 400 new seats at £250 a seat.
The sum is payable either in one lump or as 10 monthly instalments. For more information ring 01473 295914 or go online to www.wolseytheatre.co.uk/fundraising