Campaign raises £1.5k for Northern Ballet and Leeds Playhouse one pound at a time

Harriet Clifford
Thursday, February 4, 2021

Since its launch in September 2020, the #theatrefor1pound campaign has raised 149% of its initial target in support of the arts during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Victoria Smith, whose 15-year-old daughter Izzy is on the Centre for Advanced Training Programme with the Northern Ballet, started the #theatrefor1pound last year after theatres and venues were forced to close due to the pandemic. 

Smith said: ‘Theatre is for everyone and I wanted to encourage as many people as possible to help in a small way. The idea was that if everyone gave £1 collectively, it would make a huge difference. 

‘I was conscious that we are all struggling with this current situation. Every single person and every industry is having a tough time, so I wanted people to feel comfortable to give £1.’ 

Through a Virgin Money Giving page, the campaign has raised £1,494.95 so far, which is almost one-and-a-half times the original target of £1,000. Smith has chosen to focus her efforts on Northern Ballet and Leeds Playhouse as they are directly relevant to her family. 

Izzy dancing by the sea while on holiday in Elie in Scotland, a special place to the family

In response to the campaign, Northern Ballet said: ‘We are incredibly grateful to Victoria for creating #theatrefor1pound campaign. Our mission is to share the joy of dance with the widest possible audience and the funds raised by this campaign will help us to make ballet accessible to everyone, everywhere. Thank you to everyone who supports the Company by making a donation.’ 

Leeds Playhouse said: ‘We are really grateful for the time and generosity that Victoria and many others are showing our industry, especially at a time when there is hardship for so many. 

‘Over the past eight months, the Playhouse has found innovative ways to stay connected through moving practices online and when the theatre was able to re-open in September creating Covid-secure. Every penny raised will support the work we create for our stages, the way we engage with our communities and develop local artists.’

Smith aims to keep the project going for as long as possible, hoping to broaden the reach of the campaign to help other theatres and dance companies across the country.

She has emphasised the long list of people involved in theatre and dance companies, including: musicians, costume/set designers, writers, actors, choreographers, singers, make-up teams, conductors, lighting engineers, front of house, special effects teams, photographers, marketing and advertising, pastoral, producers, script writers, journalists, physiotherapists, box office staff, and the lorry drivers who transport the set. 

Smith added: ‘Even if it just makes a small difference so that young people who are wishing to follow their dreams will have an industry to join, and those already working in this wonderful environment can still carry on - it’s such a big team that is involved.’

To donate, visit the campaign page