Biggins gets star-struck for theatre appeal
PANTO star Christopher Biggins brought "a little bit of Hollywood" to the Theatre Royal's £7million revamp project.
Christopher, who has been busy entertaining audiences in the panto Dick Whittington will have his name engraved on a Hollywood-style star, which will be placed outside the theatre's main entrance.
More than 130 people have signed up to the "name a star" scheme, which is part of an ongoing project to renovate and regenerate the building.
Christopher said: "This is without a doubt my favourite theatre as it is run so beautifully. It is a great theatre and it's very exciting that it is going to be renovated. I am sad that it will be closed for six months but I am thrilled to give to the cause by having a star named after me. I think it's a great idea, it will look wonderful. It will be a bit of Hollywood coming to Plymouth."
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The project will cost £7million – £5million of which has come from the Arts Council – and the theatre has so far raised £1.2 million toward its own £2 million target.
Christopher added: "Plymouth needs all the help it can get because it is rather sad with all the shops disappearing.
"Theatres are so important to cities. Every major city has a theatre at its core. There is nothing like it. Even after all these years it is really exciting to walk out there and have that audience, to really play on them and use them."
The Wolfson Foundation, a charity which promotes excellence in the arts, has handed the Theatre Royal a grant of £98,000.
Director of grants Simon Fourmy said: "We are delighted to be supporting Theatre Royal Plymouth. The theatre has built up a reputation for artistic excellence and is one of the South West's most important cultural venues. This project will greatly improve the audience experience, and we are happy to be involved."