Theatre’s feelgood fundraising evening

JPTG-09-03-12-006 STAGE REP: MA''Chris Marlowe will be appearing at The New Theatre Royal as part of Don't Miss It! on March 10th. ''Chris Marlowe singing during the Gala Night at the Kings Theatre in aid of the Lord Mayor of Portsmouths Appeal.''Picture:Steve Reid 111384-407
JPTG-09-03-12-006 STAGE REP: MA''Chris Marlowe will be appearing at The New Theatre Royal as part of Don't Miss It! on March 10th. ''Chris Marlowe singing during the Gala Night at the Kings Theatre in aid of the Lord Mayor of Portsmouths Appeal.''Picture:Steve Reid 111384-407
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An opera singer, an amateur dramatics group, a new singing group, and a handful of local personalities feature in a New Theatre Royal fundraising gala evening tomorrow.

It’s been organised by the chairman of the Cultural Partnership, Steve Pitt, who describes it as an evening of ‘musical theatre and music’ which aims to help support the theatre as it raises money to restore the stage-house and build a new creative space.

Having raised £1 million so far, the theatre and its supporters is doing everything they can to get the theatre ready for the big redevelopment.

Compering the evening will be locally based professional actor Ben Claybon, while headlining the evening is The Octaves, a new male doo wop group from the city who will shortly be recording at the iconic Abbey Road Studios.

Manic Stage Productions will perform routines from Moulin Rouge and Chicago.

Christopher Marlowe will be taking part in some of the songs – his professional tours have included Annie and Hello Dolly.

Gerald Paul will also perform as the sinister Fagin from Oliver Twist, while the young actor Eddie Manning will also be performing.

Featured on BBC Introducing, Luke Ferre will also make an appearance, while Andrew Foster returns after his headline show in December.

Other forms of entertainment will also have a place in the evening, as the theatre welcomes professional tenor, Simon Long, while CCADS will be performing a segment from their recent productions.

Steve says: ‘It’s a feel good evening including people who have supported the New Theatre Royal over the years as it moves towards the new build because effectively that stage will disappear.

‘Some of the money will also be given to Portsmouth FC because of the many troubles they are having at the minute. We want to encourage people to get involved.’

Steve has been involved with gala evenings across the city in the past, and organised a similar variety performance at the Kings Theatre for Children In Need last year.

Steve adds: ‘You get a real mixture of entertainment, and each section lasts 10 or 15 minutes. People who enjoy variety performances will love it. ‘All ages are welcome, and there’s something for the young, with performers that appeal to teenagers. We even have opera for the slightly more highbrow. It’s hopefully something everyone will enjoy.’

Tickets cost £5 to £10 from the New Theatre Royal on (023) 9264 9000 or go to newtheatreroyal.com.