Groundlings Theatre Trust

Groundlings Theatre Trust

Total raised £2,520

raised so far

+ est. £523.75 Gift Aid



A new charity unable to claim any government support for the Covid 19 crisis, we may not be able to reopen without your support.

We're still collecting donations

On the 12th June 2020 we'd raised £2,520 with 26 supporters in 42 days. But as every pound matters, we're continuing to collect donations from supporters.

 New stretch target

Even mothballed theatres are expensive places, it costs around £4k per month just to tick over.  Our £2,500 target is eligible for matched funding from Portsmouth City Council so if we can raise just £2,500, in real terms that gives us twice the amount and will keep us going for another month.  Every penny over that would reduce the threat of permanent closure and if we reach the end of the restrictions with money left in the bank we could invest it in a program of events and activities that would enable us to trade and stand on our own two feet.

Groundlings Theatre Trust came into being in December 2019 and signed a lease in December to commence on 9 April 2020.  What timing! All theatres were closed due to the Covid-19 crisis on 20 March.  Without help this historic award winning theatre may not be able to reopen.  We desperately need money to keep us ticking over and to give us the opportunity to be able to lift ourselves back up when the opportunity arises.

Groundlings is an award winning theater and drama school based within a beautiful Grade II* listed building (1784) in the Portsea area of Portsmouth known affectonately as 'Old Benny'.  Our venue is steeped in history as it housed one of the first free schools in the country and was also one of the earliest co-educational schools in the country providing unprejudiced and secular education to the poor of Portsea.  Perhaps most famous as the location where Charles Dickens was nearly born when his mother went into labour while attending a ball in the upstairs assembly rooms and theatre.  We want to be able to protect that very special and important history.  

Our local community is linked inextricably to hard work, creativity and grit.  The council ward where Groundlings Theatre calls home is one of the top 10% most deprived in the UK and opportunities for our community continue to become fewer and fewer.  We are well established in providing opportunities to our local community and would like the opportunity to develop this further - impact of previous work includes participants being able to leave government support and return to work, for children with socialisation issues to building and maintain relationships, and helping participants both young and old to improve their well being and mental helath.  Our volunteer programme provides social interaction, the opportunity to build new skills or enhance existing abilities that participants can take back to their daily lives.

We want Groundlings Theatre to continue to be a beacon of opportunity and a centre of excellence within Portsmouth.  It has an established history of former pupils and colleagues continuing to develop and further their ambitions after their time with the company.  We want the opportunity to empower our community so they can seek better, strive for better and be rewarded with excellence.

And lets not forget, we want Groundlings Theatre to continue to be a place of entertainment and pleasure for our community and beyond by providing entertainments ranging from in-house theatrical productions giving our drama students the opportunity to act with professionals, a venue for smalling touring shows and live music, a place for the community to celebrate their own special events, to pub quiz nights and open mic evenings.

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This project offered rewards

£5 or more

Your name in a production programme

Have your name included in one of our production programmes thanking you for your kind donation

£10 or more

Theatre Tour plus tea & cake with cast for two

You and a friend can enjoy our 5* (Trip Advisor Rating) theatre tour with costumed actors, and uncover the history and hidden secrets of the Old Beneficial Society Building. Built in 1784 as a Beneficial School and place of entertainments. Explore the truth surrounding Charles Dickens' birth and of former pupil Sir Henry Ayes, the man who became a rock in the middle of Australia.

£20 or more

1950s Cocktail Evening Tickets for Two

Two tickets & two free cocktails to our very popular themed cocktail evening. Join us as we go back to when Rock n Roll ruled the airwaves & poodle skirts were all the rage. Celebrate the decade we all wish we had grown up in & take the opportunity to swivel your hips & learn 50s dances to live music. A chance to truly relive the era of Rock and Roll. Be part of a night to remember at Groundlings Theatre as we relive the fab 50s in style!

£30 or more

Tickets for 2 Adults to Panto and Signed Programme

Tickets for 2 Adults and a signed Panto programme. Fresh after our award-winning success last year with Jack and the Beanstalk, we bring you Christmas joy with DickWhittington. Laugh, cheer, boo and hiss with our fabulous panto in our much loved mix of show-stopping songs, and bonkers humour all wrapped up in a magical festive treat for all ages

£50 or more

Family Ticket to Panto, and Signed Programme

Tickets for a family of 4 to one of our premium pantomime shows and a programme signed by the actors. Join our hero DickWhittington on his thrilling quest to find adventure, fame and fortune in the glittering streets of London. Get ready to follow your dreams in this classic tale reimagined for our celebrated and fun-filled panto. A festive treat for all ages.

£100 or more

Family Ticket to Panto, Signed Programme & Tour

Family (of 4) tickets to panto, a signed programme & 4 tickets for a theatre tour followed by afternoon tea & cake & 4 tickets to our 1950s Cocktail Evening. Groundlings Theatre brings you the Christmas joy of DickWhittington AND join one of our 5* (TripAdvisor) Theatre Tours with costumed actors bringing the history of this II* listed building to life, followed by Tea & cake AND join us in all things 1950s at one of our popular cocktail evening

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