ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR COMPLETES 116 MILE
“STEP FOR THE REP”
Steve Ball walks from Birmingham to London’s Theatre Land to raise funds for The REP’s industry-leading work with young people
Completed over the course of seven days, Birmingham Repertory Theatre’s Associate Director, Steve Ball finished his 116 mile walk from The REP to London’s Leicester Square in the heart of the West End’s “Theatre Land” on Friday 28 August. Step For The REP has raised a total of over £3,700 to date, with donations still coming in.
The walk was taken in order to raise funds for The REP’s industry-leading work with young people and continue to highlight the ongoing vulnerable situation for theatres across the country during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As a registered charity, The REP has always relied on the support of its donors, sponsors and funders, never more so since being unable to trade from March 19 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The REP’s internationally renowned creative learning programme is one of the largest in the UK, each year engaging over 70,000 children, young people and adults in the community.
Starting outside The REP on Saturday 22 August, Steve walked to London’s Leicester Square, arriving on Friday 28 August where he was joined for the final leg by The REP’s Artistic Director, Sean Foley.
Associate Director, Steve Ball said; “I am delighted to have completed my 116 mile Step For The REP challenge; raising funds for the theatre’s renowned work with children and young people whilst also continuing the highlight of the plight and importance of our region’s theatres.
“A huge thanks goes to all of those who have donated so far and shown their support. It has also been fantastic to be joined by friends, past and present staff and volunteers from The REP along my journey, including our Artistic Director, Sean Foley who joined me for the final leg from Watford to Leicester Square.”
Artistic Director, Sean Foley commented; “All of us at The REP are extremely grateful for Steve’s achievement and fundraising for our theatre – the UK’s oldest building-based company and the only producing theatre in the UK’s second city. It has been an honour to join Steve for his final day of the Step For The REP challenge. A huge thank you goes out to all of those who have donated and shown their support to theatres everywhere and to the friends and supporters of The REP.”
Rachel Cranny, Head of Fundraising added; “Fundraising has never been more vital for The REP and we’re very grateful that one of our own team has taken on a personal challenge to support where he works, it’s fantastic! Thank you to everyone who donated and put a spring in Steve’s step.”
Leicester Square lies in the heart of the West End, where countless productions have transferred from the second city’s only producing theatre during its 107-year history. Back in the 1920’s, founder of The REP, Sir Barry Jackson transferred his pioneering Shakespearean productions to London’s theatre scene, the first to be seen in modern dress. More contemporary examples include The Snowman which marked its 22nd consecutive season at London’s Peacock Theatre in 2019 and Nativity! The Musical which started life at The REP in 2017. Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti’s Khandan transferred to the Royal Court and Rachel De-lahey’s Circles to the Tricycle Theatre (now Kiln Theatre) in 2014 as well as touring local community spaces. Bryony Lavery’s award-winning play, Frozen, opened at The REP in 1998. The show went on to play at the National Theatre in 2002 and in 2018 it was revived at Theatre Royal Haymarket starring Jason Watkins, Suranne Jones and Nina Sosanya.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, The REP has sought to continue as many of its projects with young people as possible, finding innovative ways to take activities online and provide vital support for participants. As a producing theatre, The REP generates 80% of its income through tickets, events and associated revenue such as refreshment sales. The closure due to the current crisis has therefore presented a real and imminent threat to its survival and fundraising has never been more crucial.
For more information on Step For The REP and to make a donation click here or visit justgiving.com/fundraising/steveballuk. To find out about more ways you can support The REP visit birmingham-rep.co.uk/support-us.
The REP would also like to thank loyal sponsors Colour Cubed for their design and print support for Step For The REP.