Leading West End theatre producer Judy Craymer MBE has made a donation of £125,000 to the Theatres Trust's Theatres Protection Fund. Craymer is the powerhouse behind both the Novello Theatre's Mamma Mia! and Spice Girls musical Viva Forever!, opening soon at the Piccadilly Theatre. Her donation to the Trust matches the opening donation to the Fund made recently by the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation.
Speaking to TheatrePeople.com earlier this year, the Theatre Trust's director Mhora Samuel spoke of "a growing national trend in the number of theatres having to cope with instant cuts from local authorities [that] poses a real threat to local communities." The Theatres Protection Fund's Small Grants Scheme was launched in April by the Trust to help protect these theatres.
The Scheme allows any UK theatre to submit funding applications up to £5,000 to address any urgent or long-term capital needs to help improve their theatre’s physical condition, accessibility and operational viability.
Craymer said in a statement: "I started my career working in theatre all over the UK. Theatres are very precious. This country has the richest heritage of theatre anywhere in the world and I genuinely feel we must protect that glorious history for future theatre-going audiences. Its my absolute pleasure to be able to donate this money to the Fund which I hope will encourage others to donate and, most importantly, keep audiences having great nights at theatres across the country."
Rob Dickins CBE, chairman of the Theatres Trust, added: "It is great news that Judy Craymer, one of Britain's top producers of musical theatre, is to play a significant role herself by supporting The Theatres Trust in helping theatres in need via our Theatres Protection Fund. Following The Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation's inspiring start, Judy's matching donation further illustrates that the most successful in the theatre world also care about the problems many theatres have to face on a daily basis."