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Introducing Play to the Crowd

Chief Executive, Deryck Newland, introduces Play to the Crowd.

We are transforming!

As a registered arts and education charity, we want to be the best we can be in pursuit of our vision to delight and unite. So, from 1st September 2019 we have changed our charity name from Live Theatre Winchester Trust to Play to the Crowd.

We believe this better represents our vision and our commitment that the arts should be for everyone and that they should be fun and playful!

We want you to come and play, at the theatre, out on the streets of Winchester and in your own communities too.

So Play to the Crowd now has three operational parts for you to engage with, all with new or refreshed visual identities: Theatre Royal Winchester, Hat Fair and Playmakers.

The first you will be familiar with as our beautiful Grade II listed theatre, dedicated to presenting a wonderfully varied programme of year-round events.

We have also transformed our downstairs foyer and bar space which will be opening as a new Cafe Bar for Winchester very soon!

The second, is the oldest continually running Outdoor Arts Festival in the UK, which celebrates the distinctive places and space of Winchester on an international scale.

Yet, despite the festival running for 45 years, some people still think it is a millinery festival!

Many also don’t realise that it is the same charity that runs both Theatre Royal Winchester and Hat Fair – we have a very busy staff team!

Playmakers is our new name for all the creative learning, community and youth work that we do as a charity, much of which people have been unaware of until now.

This includes our work with schools, colleges and universities; older people; disadvantaged communities; families of all shapes and sizes; and young people from ages 5 – 25.

In the years ahead, we want to find creative ways of bringing Playmakers out to you in your own community and to encourage more and more people to join in and get creative.

So no matter who you are or what your interests, we encourage you to get stuck in and celebrate (or uncover!) your passion for the arts.

“The arts belong to everybody and we believe everybody has the right to benefit from artistic self-expression and to experience the joy, challenge and buzz of high-quality creative performance.”

Deryck Newland, Chief Executive of Play to the Crowd