Local people are being called upon to help raise over £225,000 of funding for the New Vic as part of the theatre’s biggest redevelopment project since it was built. Donations to the Full Circle Appeal will go directly towards helping the theatre transform its auditorium this summer.

Initial plans for the project have been reviewed by the theatre’s major funder, Arts Council England, who have invested over £350,000 towards the refurbishment of the auditorium. The theatre now needs to raise approximately £225,000 to enable the work to take place across summer 2020, and is hoping to raise at least £20,000 of this target from theatre supporters.

The New Vic was Europe’s first purpose-built theatre-in-the-round and opened in 1986 thanks to £1 million of funding raised by local people. After 33 years of staging world-class productions and welcoming over three million audience members, the theatre’s auditorium is now in urgent need of refurbishment to ensure the theatre can continue to provide the best possible experience for audiences. Plans for the redevelopment project, set to begin in June, include replacement of all 597 seats, improvements to aisle lighting, a redevelopment of the balcony area and replacement of the stage floor. The theatre also hopes to carry out improvements to their customer toilets should they reach the £750,000 project total.

Donations can be made to the Full Circle Appeal directly at the theatre and online. Local people are also being offered the opportunity to contribute to the redevelopment project by dedicating a ceramic plaque that will become a permanent feature in the New Vic’s foyer. The plaques will form part of ‘New Vic – Next Stage’, a unique artwork created by renowned local artist Philip Hardaker together with theatre supporters, to commemorate the major refurbishment of the New Vic auditorium in 2020.

Managing Director Fiona Wallace said: “The New Vic has been well looked after and is still a much-loved and very special building, but we now need to work with partners and local people to invest in the main auditorium for the future. We want everyone’s trip to the theatre to be the best it can be. As well as bringing the New Vic up to modern standards the renovation will improve the comfort and experience for our audiences. We’ve made the current auditorium seating last for 33 years and now need to replace it, hopefully to last for the next 30 years. We also aim to improve the experience audiences have in the balcony area and replace the stage with a modern, modular system making it much easier to create the spectacular New Vic shows that we know people enjoy.”

Donations to the New Vic’s Full Circle Appeal, including dedicating a plaque for the New Vic – Next Stage artwork, can be made online at newvictheatre.org.uk/fullcircle, at the Box Office by calling 01782 717962, or by completing a donation form in person at the theatre.