Theatre needs helpers to grow and prosper

The Groundlings Theatre Company in Portsmouth. Artistic Director Richard Stride.'Picture: Ian Hargreaves  (132373-23) ENGPPP00320130828080413
The Groundlings Theatre Company in Portsmouth. Artistic Director Richard Stride.'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (132373-23) ENGPPP00320130828080413
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A CITY theatre is calling for volunteers to do everything from selling tickets to taking the lead role in its next performance.

Portsmouth’s Groundlings Theatre hopes to recruit more people to help run its productions.

Artistic director Richard Stride said staff and existing volunteers could train newcomers in whatever role they wished to take.

Mr Stride said: ‘We can offer training in a whole range of areas where people can get involved.

‘It might be set building or prop making.

‘You could volunteer in marketing, graphic design or doing window displays.

‘We also need people who can help in our cafe/restaurant and even to help with the gardening and cleaning.’

Mr Stride said the theatre had turned a corner after recent financial troubles.

As previously reported, the Groundlings was left on the brink last month when NatWest mistakenly closed its accounts, leaving the theatre £10,000 out of pocket.

Mr Stride said Groundlings had secured some emergency funding to keep the theatre open.

He said: ‘People have been marvellous helping us out in different ways.

‘We’ve seen the light at the end of the tunnel.’

Mr Stride said there were exciting times ahead for the theatre, which planned performances of Bugsy Malone and A Streetcar Named Desire.

He said: ‘Both of those shows have a very unusual feel to them because they have a set that wraps around the entire room.

‘That means the audience will sit in the middle of the set and feel completely like they’re a part of the action.

‘It would be like walking into the Kings Theatre and finding out you’re in New York.

‘And we’ve also got a fantastic writers’ group, and drama school as well.’

Mr Stride said the arts were beginning to thrive in Portsmouth and volunteers could help the theatre take it to the next level.

Call (023) 9273 9496 or email richard@groundlings.co.uk to find out more about volunteering at the theatre.