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Last Updated: Monday, 15 November, 2004, 11:46 GMT
Children's theatre in cash appeal
Actors Edward Fox, Jane Asher and Bill Nighy helped launch the campaign
The UK's first purpose-built children's theatre has made a fresh appeal to raise the 1.6m it still needs if it is to meet its budget.

The Unicorn Theatre's new 12.6m home in Southwark, London, is due to be completed in autumn 2005.

Actors Celia Imrie, Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton and Jane Asher have lent their backing to the campaign.

The Unicorn Theatre was founded in 1947 and says its new theatre will cater for more than 100,000 children a year.

Seat-naming

Harry Potter star Emma Thompson is one of the theatre's well-known patrons.

She said: "It's no good London having a first-class theatre, which is only available to children whose parents have high incomes.

"The Unicorn will combine its steady excellence with accessibility."

Unicorn Theatre
An artist's model of how the Unicorn Theatre will look

Novelist Phillip Pullman, also a Unicorn patron, has called the project "a gift for a city, for a country and for a world".

The theatre is encouraging members of the public to get involved in the fund-raising campaign by naming a seat.

They are also offered the chance to have their name inscribed on a special wall alongside prominent supporters such as Dame Judi Dench and Robbie Williams.

The new complex will provide a 350-seater theatre, a studio theatre capable to holding 120 people and a rehearsal studio.

The building project has already got a 5m grant from Arts Council England and "major gifts" from charities, individuals and businesses.


SEE ALSO:
Author backs children's theatre
20 Oct 03 |  Entertainment
Theatre boss warns of arts divide
04 Nov 02 |  Entertainment


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