Derry Business Community rally to show support for Local Arts in face of cuts

Posted on: 21st February 2018

The Playhouse and Browns Restaurant partner for Fundraising Event

Elaine Forde  corporate patrons

The city's business community came out in force to show support for local arts at a special Playhouse Fundraising Event on Friday night.
Key investors, innovators and business leaders took the opportunely to create partnerships with local theatre at the event for corporate patrons and individuals.
Seven businesses have become Playhouse Corporate Patrons, many renewing their partnership with The Playhouse for a second or third time.
The local business community embraced the chance to connect with The Playhouse story more intimately, learning more about the contribution the theatre makes to the artistic, social, economic and cultural life of our city. Attendees were invited to become part of The Playhouse's vision, and consider becoming a Corporate Patron, or donating as an individual, to support the vital work of The Playhouse.
Attendees enjoyed a prosecco reception and three-course dinner by award winning chef Ian Orr from Browns Restaurant in their top floor dance studio followed by front-row seats at the sold out premiere run of The Playhouse's new comedy play, ‘The Bog Couple'. The playwright, cast and director then join them for an after show cocktail party.
Written by Dr Liam Campbell and directed by Kieran Griffiths, ‘The Bog Couple' is set in 1976 in the Bogside, and tells the story of two men thrown together under the same roof in the mismatch of the century. Starring local actors Pat Lynch and Gerry Doherty, The Playhouse production, described as "terrific ...a riotous gag-fest and dramatically funny" enjoyed standing ovations and high demand for tickets.
"These vitally successful events at The Playhouse show the very real determination that exists in our city to support local creative arts" Niall McCaughan, CEO at The Playhouse said.
"The events come at a time of when Northern Ireland's arts budget is likely to be cut by over 8% in 2018/19, which may signal the final blow for some organisations and have a serious detrimental effect on the output of others. We are absolutely determined that the local community will continue to enjoy the same level of creativity, enrichment and accessibility as before. This is where the local business community have come in to support us and help make this happen. They have shown what an important role their businesses play within the local community, and enhanced our historical city by playing a meaningful role in our success."
The Playhouse is core funded by the Arts Council for Northern Ireland (ACNI) and Derry City and Strabane District Council. The Playhouse event follows the draft NI Budget for 2018/19 which forecasts that the arts sector will face further cuts, of up to 8%, on an already diminished baseline budget which has shrunk by 30% in the last five years alone.
Playhouse Chair Paul Gosling said: "The Playhouse is part of the culture and also the social and artistic infrastructure of the city. It has been at the heart of peace building, for example through Theatre of Witness, it produces art that makes the audience think and reflect, and it is a stepping stone for local artists.
"Unfortunately it is possible we may lose £20,000 in grants from April. This follows other cuts in grants. Because of this increasingly challenging funding environment, we know we have to generate much higher levels of commercial revenue. We are innovative. We want to work in partnership with local businesses and help their businesses to grow and succeed, while increasing our revenues."
More information about The Playhouse's work and its Corporate Patron Scheme CLICK HERE, call 02871 268027 or contact

paul gosling the bog couple



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