David Mitchell, David Seidler and Daniel Rigby Rock for the Pleasance
- Organisation at the heart of Edinburgh Festival begins fundraising campaign to raise £4.5m to further support emerging talent in London and Edinburgh
- The Pleasance Theatre has provided the launch pad for cutting-edge comic and theatre talent in the UK, including Paul Merton, Jo Brand, Armstrong and Miller, and Omid Djalili -
- Fundraising campaign endorsed by Pleasance alumni David Mitchell, David Seidler,
Daniel Rigby and others
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The Pleasance Theatre, one of the world’s leading performance arts platforms and an organisation at the heart of the Edinburgh Festival, has announced a fundraising campaign endorsed by comedian David Mitchell, Oscar winning screenwriter David Seidler, (The King’s Speech) and BAFTA-winner Daniel Rigby, to raise £4.5m to expand its development platform in London and Edinburgh, in order to support the very best emerging talent from the UK.
The Pleasance Theatre Trust, an independent charity, has provided a unique launch pad for some of the best comic, theatre and technical talent in the UK. Its alumni reads like a Who’s Who of contemporary culture and include: Mitchell and Webb, Michael McIntyre, Paul Merton, Stephen K Amos, Bill Bailey, Jo Brand, Stewart Lee, Graham Norton, Arthur Smith, Caroline Quentin, The Mighty Boosh, Theatre de Complicité, Ed Hall, Rufus Norris, Daniel Rigby, Julian Clary, Steve Coogan, Dara O’Briain, Hugh Dennis and many more.
As part of the fundraising campaign adopt one of the cobblestones from the famous Pleasance Courtyard – the very stones on which countless household names first stood to showcase their work - or have your portrait painted by renowned artist Paul Garner, the talent behind the iconic Pleasance cartoons, and appear as part of the 231 ft-long Pleasance ‘Bayeaux Tapestry’, to be unveiled at the 30th Birthday celebrations in 2014.
The Pleasance creates over 21 venues at the Edinburgh Festival each year, which host over 250 productions, presenting over 5,000 performances. One in five tickets sold for the Edinburgh Festival is for a Pleasance show. All revenue is raised through ticket sales and is ploughed back into the organisation to provide low-cost performance space and support to maintain the world’s foremost theatrical showcase. Over the last 27 years the Pleasance has supported thousands of people in the arts. Among many others, the highlights include:
- The King’s Speech – The Pleasance hosted the initial reading of David Seidler’s play that directly resulted in the production of the Oscar-winning film. The Pleasance is pleased to be working with David Seidler again, developing his latest play about Kenneth Graham, Saving Toad, to be presented at the Pleasance Theatre in Islington 2012.
- 2011 BAFTA award-winning Best Actor Daniel Rigby – Daniel first showcased his stand-up in the Pleasance’s own Comedy Reserve. He went on to win a BAFTA for his role as Eric Morecambe in BBC2’s Eric and Ernie.
- The League of Gentlemen – the team which includes Mark Gatiss, Steve Pemberton, Reece Shearsmith and Mark Dyson first came to the Pleasance in the early 90s, and since then have grown from cult hit to household name.
Plans for the future
The Pleasance plans to build on its successful track record by raising £4.5m over three years:
- £3m to create a new, flexible development and performance and rehearsal space; and create new facilities and improved resources in both London and Edinburgh.
- £1.5m production fund to directly support emerging talent in new productions and performances both at the Pleasance, throughout the UK and overseas.
Members of the public can get involved and learn more at: www.pleasance.co.uk
David Seidler said: "I am delighted to be working with the Pleasance again, presenting my next work in their beautiful theatre in Islington where I had the first reading of my then little known play The King’s Speech. It was from this reading that the film was born. The Pleasance provides a phenomenal opportunity for all people, both on and off the stage. This fundraising campaign will maximise the work of this important platform and I fully endorse their campaign."
David Mitchell said: “The Pleasance is a brilliant place of which I am incredibly fond. A lot of theatres talk about encouraging new work and new talent but the Pleasance really does it. At the beginning of our careers, it was one of the few places where Robert's and my ridiculous attempts to amuse people were welcomed. I fully support their fundraising campaign which I hope will allow them to help future generations of comedians, writers and actors.”
Anthony Alderson, Director, The Pleasance Theatre said: “For 27 years the Pleasance has provided talented people with the opportunity, support and confidence to develop their creative ideas and turn them into reality. Whether young and emerging talent, or at the pinnacles of their careers, we have provided the foundation on which brilliant new work can develop. We invest all our box office income back into providing a platform to support and encourage artistic innovation and entrepreneurship. The funding will ensure that we can provide the best possible platform for new ideas and plan ambitiously for the future with security and confidence, whilst keeping our costs low and our ticket prices affordable.”
David Mitchell Podcast
David Mitchell has recorded a special pre-Edinburgh podcast which will be released later this month. Featuring trademark humour and general witty banter this edition can be downloaded FREE from the Pleasance website: http://www.pleasance.co.uk/podcast
Press contacts and images:
Contact Kallaway for further information:
Adopt a Pleasance Cobble, or become part of the Pleasance ‘Bayeaux Tapestry’.
The Pleasance has developed a number of fundraising ideas for members of the public. All can be accessed on the Pleasance website www.pleasance.co.uk:
- Pin for the Pleasance: For as little as 50p you can buy, and proudly wear a Pleasance Pin!
- The rocks on which today’s top talent are founded: The Pleasance is famous for its cobbled courtyards – scene of countless first-time shows which have gone on to take the world by storm. For £50 you can adopt your very own pet cobblestone. The Pleasance will provide you with regular updates on how it's getting along, share a joke overheard from one of its celebrity friends and even invite you for quality time together.
- Pleasance ‘Bayeaux Tapestry’: Join the Pleasance’s very own ‘Bayeaux Tapestry’ of famous faces, charting the history of the world according to the Pleasance. For £300 you can have your portrait painted by Pleasance cartoonist Paul Garner - keep your portrait and also appear alongside theatre and comic stars in the Pleasance ‘Bayeaux Tapestry’ to be unveiled at the 30th Birthday Celebrations in 2014.
- Make a simple donation: visit www.pleasance.co.uk for full details
The Pleasance Fundraising Campaign
The Pleasance needs to raise money to:
- Build a new, flexible, 80-seat development and performance space
- Build 3 rehearsal rooms and production space, and upgrade existing facilities
- Create a £1.5m fund for new productions and performance
REFURBISH IN LONDON
- Two existing theatres, dressing rooms, green room, box office, foyer, café and bar
- Workshop for scenic construction and prop-making
- Upgrade our technical facilities in the theatres and rehearsal rooms
- Install a new IT, wi-fi and telephone network in all offices and rehearsal rooms
- Improve disabled access to theatres, offices and rehearsal rooms
- A full-time Pleasance Kidzone in London and touring Kidzone
- A permanent year-round production, technical and construction department
- A box office platform for the Fringe and festival network in North London
- Employment opportunities for new staff in both Edinburgh and London
About the Pleasance
The Pleasance, a registered charity, was founded by Christopher Richardson in 1985 to present, support and develop the very best British talent at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. In order to continue developing the work it was supporting on the Fringe, in 1995 the Pleasance built two theatres in Islington, North London. In 2004, Anthony Alderson took over the Directorship with the intention to further the opportunities The Pleasance offers by developing the touring platform, increasing the number of venues in Edinburgh, expanding the site in London, and exploring new art-forms.
The Pleasance is now one of the most valued cornerstones for the entertainment industry in this country. Over its 27-year history the organisation has created performance space and provided facilities and support for over 5000 productions, that have to date involved over 40,000 people within the arts and theatre industry. The Pleasance has been the launch-pad and test-bed for the work of some of our best loved comedians, actors, directors, writers, producers and technicians, including Mitchell and Webb, The League of Gentlemen, Michael McIntyre, Paul Merton, Stephen K Amos, Bill Bailey, Jo Brand, Stewart Lee, Graham Norton, Arthur Smith, Caroline Quentin, The Mighty Boosh, Theatre de Complicité, Ed Hall, Rufus Norris, Daniel Rigby, Julian Clary, Steve Coogan, Dara O’Briain and Hugh Dennis and many more.
About David Mitchell
David Mitchell is an actor, writer and comedian. Star of the BBC television sketch show That Mitchell and Webb Look, and the Channel 4 sitcom Peep Show, he is also a regular participant on TV panel shows including QI, Mock the Week and Have I Got News for You, as well as Best of the Worst and Would I Lie to You?. He writes comment articles for the Guardian and Observer on subjects as diverse as sport and politics, and is the presenter of the video series Soap Box.
About David Seidler
David Seidler is an Oscar-winning playwright and film and television writer. His best-known pieces include: Onassis: The Richest Man in the World (1988), The King and I (1999) and, most recently, The King’s Speech (2010), for which he won best original screenplay. In 2012 he will be presenting a new work, Saving Toad, at the Pleasance Islington.
About Daniel Rigby
RADA trained actor and comedian Daniel Rigby recently won a BAFTA for Leading Actor for his role as Eric Morecambe in the BBC drama Eric and Ernie. Rigby has also worked as a stand-up comedian, having appeared at the Latitude Festival, won the 2007 Laughing Horse New Act of The Year and been a nominee for winner of the 2007 So You Think You're Funny competition. Other television roles include the BBC period drama Lilies. Daniel is currently starring in One Man, Two Guvnors alongside James Corden at the National Theatre.
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