Businesses urged to give ‘gift of theatre’

Birmingham Rep has launched an ambitious project to find 101 Birmingham businesses, who will give the gift of theatre at Christmas to disadvantaged children and families from across the city.

These companies will provide tickets to see the theatre’s Christmas production of ‘The Hundred and One Dalmatians’.

This project will help The Rep to achieve its ambition of making theatre accessible to everyone, regardless of social or economic barriers.

The theatre said that Birmingham was the most deprived authority in the West Midlands with 35 per cent of children eligible for free school meals (twice the national average).

Many of these young people rarely have a chance to be inspired by cultural outings or have positive, educational influences outside of their everyday lives.

The cost of theatre, even with discounts, is a common barrier, both for families with limited disposable income and schools facing a lack of subsidy and decreasing budgets. Arts Council England’s ‘Taking Part’ survey found that 57 per cent of the UK population had little or no engagement with the arts.

The free tickets will be distributed in areas of high level deprivation. Companies can choose to donate between £175 and £500.

This project is part of a national fundraising initiative, ‘The Big Give’. During ‘The Big Give Christmas Challenge’, match funding will offer the chance for donations from the 101 businesses to be doubled.

Businesses who have already signed up include; Lloyds Bank, Mazars, Pinsent Masons, Deutsche Bank, Gowling WLG and JLT.

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