Emergency Appeal for Capital Theatres – #SaveOurTheatres

Across Scotland, venues are struggling to maintain a future and stave off the fears of going dark permanently. Tragically, the dawning reality is that the coming months will determine the fates of Scotland’s cultural hubs for generations to come.

Capital Theatres, the charity responsible for running Edinburgh’s Festival Theatre, The Studio and heart of the trio The King’s have had little choice but to launch a crowdfunding campaign to secure £50,000 to ensure they are able to raise the curtain once more – when safe to do so. Doing so, not only to preserve the cities cultural integrity but to secure the high quality of accessible arts for Edinburgh’s vulnerable communities.

From online Tea & Jamming sessions, Dementia-friendly programmes and teaching aids for children during Lockdown, Capital Theatres has maintained its commitment to the communities despite halting live, in-person events. With 92% of the staff currently furloughed, with a small section able to work from home, the charity faces a dire situation.

Now, this is nothing new, and we here at Corr Blimey have asked your help in supporting the arts community and venues throughout lockdown, but for those unable to provide financial assistance they can help aid in another key way. Starting up a petition on Change.org they are calling on the Scottish Government’s support to recognise the severity of the situation:

‘We cannot let this happen. ​We need you to help us demonstrate to ​the government ​that Capital Theatres is worth equal investment ​to our theatre compatriots, to save our iconic venues before it’s too late’

Despite persistent appeals from Capital Theatres regarding the position they find themselves concerning the depleted funds they had to refurbish the King’s Theatre, support has so far been minimal from the government. Campaigning to receive funding: “at the same level as other publicly supported theatres,” this would go towards enabling the charity to play their role in Edinburgh’s year-round art scene, boosting the local and national economy, stating:

‘ from dementia friendly music concerts, ​to 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.

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.

Faced with the harrowing decision of whether to remove their workers or risk the closure of The King’s theatre entirely, CEO Fiona Gibson issued a frank and blunt warning to the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, that without the necessary funds and protection the decision would need to be called.

From auld Leithers to the fresh faces of Marchmont Rd and Pollock Halls, there’s no one in the city of Edinburgh, and rarely a person in Scotland who at one time or another hasn’t been impacted by the glittering spectacle of the Festival, the intimate creative-furnace of The Studio or the majesty of the old lady of Leven Street that is our beloved King’s Theatre. With support, the charity hopes to be able to bounce back and push forward and make a welcome comeback, but likely with reduced seating capacity needs ours, and the government’s help to do so.

Crowdfunder Page

Change.org Petition

Preview: Dead Good – The Studio

Dead Good is set to open in Edinburgh on February 13th at The Studio, Festival Theatre. Playing for two nights at 19.30pm before touring further. Tickets can be found at:https://www.capitaltheatres.com/whats-on/dead-good

Abstracts and quotations taken from syndicated interview by Diane Parkes

Death is just around the corner, so why not go in style? Or at the very least, throw a few punches first. Despite the inevitability, we never discuss death – who can blame us? Vamos Theatre, however, envisions Dead Good as an accessible way of prying open the door to open discussion.

We start our story at the end of theirs; told that they are dying, Bob and Bernard embark on one last grand adventure, living every ounce of time they have left to the fullest. The two men come to realise the values of life, love and wealth friendship can offer. Marrying tragedy with the mask of comedy, writer & artistic director Rachael Savage wants: “to demystify death and take the fear out of it” while incorporating a thirst for life and appreciation of humour. 

There is one thing our attitudes towards mortality can be truly harvested for – laughs. It’s a fact that artistic producers are capable of finding the fun in funeral, Savage seeking to entertain as much as she wishes to leave audiences with discussion as well as memories;

“I think people expect to go away from one of our shows having laughed and cried and with something to think about” 

In collaboration with palliative care patients and specialists, Dead Good continues Vamos Theatre’s dedication to creating theatre encompassing under-represented groups, Savage stating:

I give people a voice who often don’t have one, so our shows have to be about things that I am passionate about and that I want to make people think differently about.

As part of their research, for 18 months, Vamos Theatre gained first-hand experiences and opinions on the subject of mortality, and the attitudes surrounding this to capture authenticity. Further, the buzz and determination behind the production secure an understanding that those behind Dead Good have created the piece with solid intentions.

Due to the production’s nature of mask use, the communication method of the show welcomes anyone, being fully accessible to deaf audiences without a signer.

Aron De Casmaker, a Canadian clown performer who honed his skills with Cirque du Soleil plays Bob. Ringing the delicate matter of death to the nation, and is certainly one to catch for its two-night stay in Edinburgh. De Casmaker reinforcing his interest and passion for the project;

I’m really excited about this project. The idea of finding the lightness in dark material really attracts me to the theatre and in this show we are hitting a very realistic view of death head-on and then finding the joy and the lightness that comes from that

Set to deliver on tears of laughter, and a few shed out of inspiration, Dead Good has received positive coverage for its tackling of a hushed subject, with Tammy Gooding of BBC Hereford & Worchester awarding the production five stars, advising audiences to bring tissues.

Dead Good opens at The Festival Theatre – The Studio on February 13th at 19.30pm. Tickets are available from: https://www.capitaltheatres.com/whats-on/dead-good

Full touring dates can be found at Vamos Theatre at: https://www.vamostheatre.co.uk/shows/show/dead-good#diary