Georgian Theatre plans full autumn season thanks to £12,000 donation

Gerry Broadbent, chair of The Friends of the Georgian Theatre Royal, is pictured outside of The Georgian Theatre Royal with the theatre’s chief executive, Clare Allen.

The Georgian Theatre Royal in Richmond is looking forward to staging a full 2021 autumn season thanks to a substantial donation from supporters.

The Friends of The Georgian Theatre Royal supports the historic venue by raising valuable funds and its latest donation of £12,000 is being used to under-pin programming for the post-Covid opening season.

“We are extremely grateful for the ongoing commitment and generosity of our Friends, which has continued unabated throughout our prolonged period of closure,” said Clare Allen, chief executive of the theatre.

“Whilst the Theatre is renowned for the quality of shows it offers, we can only seat around 150 people, so even with full capacity audiences, it can be difficult to cover the costs associated with the top-rated performers.

“This generous donation means that we can sign up some excellent productions for our next season.”

“It is particularly important that we open in true celebratory style with plenty to wow our audiences who have waited so long to enjoy live theatre.

“It will also be the first season in our much-improved auditorium, which has been fitted with exceptionally comfortable seats during lockdown — a double reason to push the boat out.”

The season, which runs from September to January 2022, will have a greater number of shows than usual and showcase a wide variety of entertainment styles, including eye-catching drama, cutting edge comedy and first-class musical entertainment, plus some famous names.

It will culminate with the Theatre’s legendary pantomime Beauty and the Beast, which had to be cancelled last year.

Full details of the autumn season will be announced in the coming weeks as show bookings are confirmed and the national ‘road map’ to opening arts venues unfurls.

The friends’ donation includes £5,000 contributed by the Dr Philip Welch Charity.

Set up by the retired Richmond GP, the charity has given to the Friends over the years and this final donation comes as the charity winds down its activities.

Gerry Broadbent, chair of the Friends group, said: “We are very grateful to the Dr Philip Welch Charity for this exceptionally kind donation, which greatly enhances our support of the Theatre in this most difficult of years.

“The Friends have not been able to meet in the last 12 months or organise their usual fundraising activities and social events but our members have continued with their steadfast commitment to the theatre and we are pleased to be able to make our usual annual contribution to its funds.

“We can’t wait for the theatre to be able to open its doors again and we will all be clamouring for tickets for those first shows. After all, it’s what friends are for!!”

New members of the Friends group are always welcome.

Their support helps the theatre in all of its activities, whether it is through promoting its varied performance programmes, boosting its vibrant youth theatre or developing it as a heritage destination.

There are many benefits to joining Friends, including: priority bookings; ticket discounts on selected shows; seasonal newsletters; and invitations to post-show wine receptions and other social events.

For further information, please contact the theatre on 01748 823710 or email

More details and a Friends’ application form can also be found in the ‘support’ section on the theatre website: at