Tonight's the night our stars shine for Lola
TONIGHT is the night stars of the stage, theatre staff and the public show their support for a little girl with a fatal illness.
Actor Brian Conley, who is starring as Fagin in Oliver! at the Theatre Royal, will tonight take to the stage for a second time as he stars in a one-off charity production in aid of three-year-old Lola Bloomer, who has the rare incurable condition Ataxia-Telangiectasia, known as A-T.
Mr Conley, who was inspired to organise the star-studded show after reading about Lola in The Herald, has said the support from residents has been "amazing".
His comment comes after having raised nearly £11,000 in ticket sales for the show, which is called 'A Charity Night with Brian Conley and Friends from Oliver!'.
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He said: "When I first had the idea of a charity performance I never dreamt it would be so well supported. Thank you to each and everyone one of you who has bought a ticket. People of Plymouth, you are amazing."
Staff at the Theatre Royal have said they are having one final push as they urge members of the public to buy a ticket for the show and support little Lola.
Over 500 tickets have now been sold for the event, translating into nearly £11,000 for the A-T Society and the theatre's work with young people and communities.
Lola is one of only 60 children in the UK living with the fatal genetic disorder, which causes increasingly severe disability and premature death.
TV and stage star Mr Conley said he "had to do something to help" after reading Lola's story, and joined forces with Theatre Royal staff to organise the fundraising event.
Around 30 kind-hearted staff members at the Derry's Cross venue have offered to give up their time for free to stage the show.
Lola's mum Jo Bloomer is expected to take to the stage at some point in the evening to give a brief talk about her daughter and her condition.
She said she has been "overwhelmed" by the amount of support the city is showing for her little girl and is looking forward to tonight's performance.
After getting close to a sell-out, theatre bosses have decided to continue selling tickets right up to just before the show.
Tickets for the show, which will take place at 10.45pm, after the curtain has fallen on the evening's production of Oliver!, are on sale today at the Theatre Royal priced at £20.
A spokesperson for the Theatre Royal said the Box Office will be open until 8pm this evening, and will then reopen from 10.15pm so people can turn up on the night to buy tickets.
For more information, call the Theatre Royal box office on 01752 267222 or visit www.theatre royal.com