It’s the final countdown for beloved Playhouse!

As refurbishments continue, Alnwick Playhouse launch brand new website and a rallying call to public to help them raise a final £40,000 ahead of its grand reopening

Today, as Alnwick Playhouse reveal their brand-new website, the team put out a rallying call to audiences old and new today, to help them raise a final £40,000 to support the major refurbishment of the Playhouse, being led by Northumberland County Council.

The Playhouse closed its doors over 12 months ago so that a £3.3m much-needed refurbishment project could take place, £800,000 of which must be raised by the Alnwick Playhouse Trust.

“We’ve raised 95 percent towards our target already, thanks to the huge generosity of trusts and foundations and finally the people of Alnwick and beyond,” commented Jo Potts, Manager of the Playhouse since 2012. “Now, we’re on the final countdown – the building and development teams are driving forward the work on-site, and it’s up to us to make sure we hit that £800,000 target so that we can give our audiences a fantastic reopening, and make sure the Playhouse is at the heart of Alnwick for decades to come.”

Hundreds of members of the public have already supported The Playhouse through buying their very own seat in the auditorium, which can be purchased for £250 and includes an engraved plaque with a message of your choice, but the Alnwick team say every little helps, donations large and small are welcomed.

The arts centre, theatre and cinema which is home to the Alnwick Playhouse Youth Theatre, Choir and Concert Band, is being refurbished to bring the 94-year-old building up to modern standards. After completion visitors can expect to see a revamped, classic auditorium with added, generous legroom; a brand-new ground-floor studio hub; a luxury bar upstairs and a premium food and drink offer on the ground floor, courtesy of McKenna’s known for their popular bar and restaurant at Northern Stage in Newcastle.

“Alnwick Playhouse is a shining star in Northumberland’s cultural landscape, this refurbishment secures it for many years and generations to come.

Councillor Cath Homer, Northumberland County Council

In addition, Alnwick Library and Tourist Information Centre will move to the ground-floor of the Playhouse, making it a true hub of the community.

Northumberland County Councillor Cath Homer, Portfolio Holder for Culture, Arts, Leisure & Tourism said, “Alnwick Playhouse is a shining star in Northumberland’s cultural landscape, this refurbishment secures it for many years and generations to come. We’re incredibly proud of our county and are delighted to be able to invest in Alnwick and look forward to seeing the Playhouse community come alive once more.”

For the first time this week, the full Playhouse team, who have been continuing their work from the Lindisfarne Annex were allowed access to the building to see how refurbishments are taking shape. The main auditorium will have its brand-new luxury seating fitted in November and anyone purchasing a seat will be granted an exclusive, first-look at the auditorium prior to the official opening later this autumn.

 “We can’t wait to welcome our Alnwick Playhouse friends, community and supporters back in to the building for our official reopening,” said Jo, although unable to confirm an official date, the Manager went on to say, “we’ve got some fantastic plans in store, including a series of events for audiences to catch up on the films we’ve missed while we’ve been away as well as a newly programmed comedy season opening in January. I’m very excited for the next chapter!”

Donate before 10 November to support Alnwick Playhouse by visiting the website www.alnwickplayhouse.co.uk.