Everybody Needs Good Supporters
Earlier this year The REP embarked on an ambitious fundraising campaign, REP First, which aims to raise £1million over the next 3 years. Businesses, donors and some well-known faces have got behind the campaign, including actor and singer, Jason Donovan. We caught up with Jason to ask him why theatre and our campaign is important to him.
What was your first experience of The REP?
“My first performance here was as The Rocky Horror Show's Frank N Furter in 1998. It was great fun and I met my wife too: 20 years later we are still together with three children so The REP is very special to us personally. It is a really fun, friendly place to work.”
What is it about theatre that you love?
“It's the raw energy and adrenaline; the sheer exhilaration of seeing magic happen in front of your eyes. Film & TV can never capture this spirit. Theatres can also give a sense of cohesion, they are often at the heart of the community, bringing people together.”
As the festive season approaches, do you have any particular memories of going to the theatre at this time of year?
“Australia definitely doesn't embrace the Christmas theatre spirit quite like you Brits. December in Australia is all about eating outdoors and enjoying the beach. I've always loved the lead up to Christmas in the UK, particularly now I'm a parent. Bringing the entire family to a Christmas production is a wonderful first step into the world of theatre. Maybe that festive tradition is one of the reasons why theatre is so important here in the UK - it's all about having fun and that's got to be a good thing.”
Do you have a favourite role from those you've played?
“That's a tough one. I loved playing Lionel Logue in The Kings Speech at The REP. It's such a great story and The REP's wonderful Artistic Director, Roxana Silbert was truly inspiring as a director. I also loved Sweeney Todd, for the challenge, and Sondheim is a genius.”
As a REP First campaign ambassador, why do you think supporting The REP is so important ?
“There are so many reasons. I think Birmingham is one of the UK's leading cities, and The REP is right at its centre - fostering arts provision, providing a diversity of expression, developing future audiences and theatre makers. Supporting and encouraging the next generation should always be the number one goal across the arts, and I believe The REP is at the fore of this. It is truly one of this country's great performing houses so let's make it bigger and better for everyone. I am extremely honoured and humbled to be a REP First Ambassador.”
To support the REP First campaign click here.