The Players Theatre in Lowestoft - Relight My Fire

by Nicholas Garrod in Lowestoft, England, United Kingdom

We did it
On 18th January 2021 we successfully raised £36,445 ( + est. £3375.50 Gift Aid ) with 328 supporters in 56 days

Replace our condemned heating boiler with an air source climate management system to provide all year round comfort for all our users.

by Nicholas Garrod in Lowestoft, England, United Kingdom

New stretch target

We are totally blown away that you have so generously donated and we have reached our initial target with a few days to spare. A massive thank you to everyone!

Our initial target was to achieve enough to install the air source heating and ventilation system. Stretching the target to £45,000 will enable us to install insulation to the main auditorium, ceiling fans to the main auditorium to push the warmth downwards and draught proofing throughout the building. 

Insulation work is time consuming due to the difficulty of access and the labour costs associated with it.  

Your continued generosity with donations will really help us to carry out this extra work now rather than much later.


Our Project

1605202112_lightitupred_v2_jpeg.jpg

Photograph: The Players Theatre at The Bethel

Having watched our video you will have heard the words of our Voice of The Players Theatre in Lowestoft. The Theatre is home to the Lowestoft Players and a range of other groups. Like many theatres we are closed due to Covid. Unlike many others we may not be able to re-open as our 30 year old heating system has been condemned.

1605295379_img_3981_v2.jpg

Photograph: Our condemned boiler

We need to replace it and have chosen an air source climate management system which will cost £35,000. It will enable us to keep our patrons and venue users comfortable all year round by warming them up in the winter and cooling them down in the summer. It will help reduce our running costs, our carbon footprint and contribute positively to the environment.

If we can get off to a good start we may qualify for funding from M&S Energy.

A failure to open will have a massive impact on the people in the Lowestoft area. We are at the centre of the Lowestoft community with a number of groups using our facility taking the opportunity to rehearse or perform on a stage in a theatre. The camaraderie that exists between performers as the adrenaline flows before and during a performance will disappear, friendships will fade away, careers in the performing arts will be lost and a valuable interest for people of all ages will disappear. 

The creative expression that flows from theatre has a positive impact on mental health.

Our members, performers, patrons, hirers, and back stage volunteers speak highly of the part that The Players Theatre plays in their lives. Please see their testimonials below.

So Relight My Fire and our theatre for years to come!

Testimonial from Josh Lacey, former member of The Lowestoft Players, now a West End lead:

Our History

The Lowestoft Players are a leading and award winning Community musical theatre group. 

1605202966_greece_v2.jpg

Photograph: The Lowestoft Players performing Grease at the Players Theatre

1605203106_evita_4_v2.jpg

Photograph: The Lowestoft Players performing Evita at The Players Theatre

Based in Lowestoft and operating for over 50 years, we perform three full scale productions per year at affordable prices. For the first 40 years we rehearsed in a prefabricated building generously provided by a supporter.  

1605203275_stradbroke_road_2_v2.jpg

Photograph: The Lowestoft Players former Headquarters at Stradbroke Road

In 2008 we were able to purchase a Chapel (The Bethel) from the Fishermen’s Mission, allowing the latter to preserve the building for the community.  

The Bethel (Fishermen’s Mission)

1605216623_the_bethel_early_1900_v2.jpg1605203801_please_sir_can_i_have_more_v2.jpg

Photograph: The Bethel circa 1900 and the Poor People's Tea circa 1930

The Bethel is an iconic building located in the centre of Lowestoft. This fabulous, old, former Chapel has served the community since 1899, firstly as a Fishermen’s Mission, then, during WWII, as a Naval base. 

After the war it reverted to its role as a Chapel until 2008, when it was purchased by The Lowestoft Players. There was a request by the then owners, to keep this building in use for the whole community, which The Players were happy to do. 

The Players Theatre

The Lowestoft Players with our reserves and volunteer help, from our 150 strong membership, spent the first year refurbishing and converting The Bethel into a 200 seat theatre.

1605203935_work_in_progres_2_v2.jpgPhotograph: Conversion of the Chapel to The Players Theatre

Later with grants from; WREN, The Arts Council and many others, we were able to build on and improve the conversion. Within 12 months of acquiring The Bethel, productions were being held there. Soon after, staging, lighting, blackout curtains and seating were in place enabling the first full production, on the new stage, to take place. 

1605204053_auditorium_and_tech_box_v2.jpgPhotograph: The auditorium at The Players Theatre following conversion

Testimonial from Sally Jermyn, current member of the Lowestoft Players Front of House team:

A Community Venue managed by locals

The Theatre is managed and operated by volunteers who have a passion for musical theatre, supporting the local community and providing a major facility in the Lowestoft area. Volunteers come from all community backgrounds and all ages. We provide an opportunity for people to socialise who might otherwise be lonely. We provide a training and development opportunity for the community to learn all aspects of theatre, from planning through performing to backstage, with many of our friends going on to have careers in the industry. Other groups who hire our current facilities organise their own events including dance instruction, meetings and private parties.

1605544752_image016_v2.jpg

Photograph: Made in Dagenham performed by The Lowestoft Players

1605211852_b_and_b_sound_of_music_v2.jpg

Photograph: B and B Youth Theatre Group performing The Sound of Music

1605204390_wedding_v2.jpgPhotograph: Main auditorium prepared for a wedding reception

1605265355_christmas_specjpg_v2.jpg

Photograph: The Lowestoft Players performing A Christmas Spectacular

We provide a valuable facility for people to pursue a worthwhile interest during their leisure time harnessing their energy into something creative.

Testimonial from Stephen Amer, current member of the Lowestoft Players and now a full time musician.

The Future

We have aspirations and plans to meet our own demands and the needs of the increasing community groups in the area by carrying out further improvements and enlargement of the Theatre in the coming years. None of this will be possible unless we can raise £35,000 to replace our heating system.

1605204633_future_front_elevation_v2.jpg

Photograph: The future look and vision for The Players Theatre

1605469741_covid_19_-_low_play_-_holding_poster_june_2019___40in_x_60in_poster_v2.jpg

Rewards

This project offers rewards in return for your donation

£60 or more

4 of 20 claimed

The Magic of Live Theatre Will Return Hoody

A special Lowestoft Players commission of "The Magic of Live Theatre Will Return" hoody plus your name and a thank you on our website and displayed on our Theatre foyer screen. The hoody is navy with a colourful print on the back and Lowestoft Players logo on the chest. Design image can be seen in Update 12.

£10 or more

Your name on our website and Theatre foyer screen

Have your name and a thank you listed on our website and displayed on our Theatre foyer screen.

£25 or more

The Magic of Live Theatre Will Return A4 poster

A special Lowestoft Players commission of "The Magic of Live Theatre Will Return" poster print size A4 plus your name and a thank you on our website and displayed on our Theatre foyer screen.

£50 or more

16 of 50 claimed

The Magic of Live Theatre Will Return T Shirt

A special Lowestoft Players commission of "The Magic of Live Theatre Will Return" T Shirt plus your name and a thank you on our website and displayed on our Theatre foyer screen.

£100 or more

9 of 40 claimed

Two free seats to a Players Theatre Show in 2021

Two free seats to a Players Show at The Players Theatre in 2021 plus one free programme for the show. An invitation for two people to our Supporters Celebration Evening in 2021. Your name and a thank you on our website and displayed on our Theatre foyer screen.

£250 or more

1 of 15 claimed

Meet the Beauty and the Beast cast in January 2022

Two adult and two children tickets to watch our next Pantomime, Beauty and the Beast in January 2022. Two programmes, a "shout out" during the show and an opportunity to meet the cast.

£500 or more

A3 framed print of Players Musical Poster Montage

A specially commissioned Limited Edition A3 framed print of The Players Musical Poster Montage, to be collected. Two free seats to a Players Show at The Players Theatre in 2021 plus one free programme for the show. An invitation for two people to our Supporters Celebration Evening in 2021. Your name and a thank you on our website and displayed on our Theatre foyer screen.

£500 or more

Corporate Plaque and Theatre Package

Your company name and logo inscribed on a Corporate Plaque at The Players Theatre. Two free seats to a Players Show at The Players Theatre in 2021 plus one free programme for the show. Two glasses of Prosecco and a box of chocolates to enjoy. An invitation for two people to our Supporters Celebration Evening in 2021. Your name and a thank you on our website and displayed on our Theatre foyer screen.

£1 or more

91 of 91 claimed

Marks and Spencer Food Hamper worth £80

Marks and Spencer Lowestoft has very kindly donated an £80 Christmas Food Hamper to our campaign. Anyone who makes a donation to our Crowdfunder appeal from 10 December to midnight on 17 December will be entered into a draw to win the hamper. For every pound donated donators will be given one entry into the draw. If you donate £20 you will be entered into the draw 20 times and so on. The draw will be made on 18 December, in time for Christmas.

£1 or more

10 of 10 claimed

Norwich City FC Signed Pennant Current Squad

Norwich City FC has given an autographed 20/21 squad pennant to raffle (Krul, Cantwell, Pukki, Skipp etc). Anyone who makes a donation to our Crowdfunder appeal from Monday 28 December to midnight Sunday 3 January will be entered into a draw to win the pennant. For every pound donated, donors will be given one entry into the draw. If you donate £20 you will be entered into the draw 20 times and so on. The draw will be made on 4 January 2021.

£1 or more

1 of 1 claimed

The History of the Lowestoft Players - book

A rare opportunity to win one of eight illustrated books – Lowestoft Players at 50 Years, written by the late Dr Bob Dickson CBE., indomitable oceanographer with a gift for storytelling. Anyone who makes a donation to our appeal from 4 January to midnight 8 January will be entered into a draw to win one of the books. For every pound donated, you will be given one entry into the draw, £5 = 5 entries, £20 = 20. The draw will be made on 9 January.

£10 or more

13 of 13 claimed

Beautiful high quality Clogau jewellery worth £378

Win a gorgeous Clogau Cariad pendant and earring set courtesy of Oliver & J Jewellery Beccles. Rhodium plated sterling silver and 9ct rare Welsh rose gold plus small diamond in the pendant. Donate at least £10 between 9 Jan and midnight 15 Jan for 1 entry into the draw. £20 equals 2 entries, £100 equals 10 entries and so on. The draw will be made on 16 Jan. A perfect gift to keep or to save for a loved one for Valentine’s Day! Photo in update 10.

Got an idea like this?

Over £200 million has been raised from our crowd to support the projects they love! Plus tens of millions more unlocked by our partners.