November 14, 2013, by Lindsay Brooke

BBC’s Matthew Bannister launches New Theatre appeal

This weekend, the award winning Nottingham New Theatre (NNT) welcomes BBC broadcaster and Nottingham alumnus Matthew Bannister to an event to launch a new ‘seat naming’ appeal.

Remarkably for a university with no dedicated drama or theatre related course the NNT is the only entirely student run theatre in the country.  Since 1969 the theatre has provided a platform for thousands of talented performers, directors and crew members to participate in award winning student productions.

Famous alumni who have trodden the boards at NNT include actors Ruth Wilson and Daniel Weyman.

Ruth was a regular performer at NNT. She is perhaps best known for her portrayal of Jayne Eyre in the 2006 TV adaptation and more recently as sociopathic research scientist, Alice Morgan in BBC’s crime drama Luther. Daniel discovered NNT in the second year of his physics degree and has gone on to a number of stage and screen appearances, most recently in ITV’s popular drama Foyle’s War.

The theatre’s fundraising project is part of The University of Nottingham’s Impact Campaign which has supported a radical redevelopment of the facility in recent years. Alumni donations along with further support from the University and Students’ Union have funded new seating, two new performance studios and an initial investment in urgently needed lighting and sound equipment.

Matthew Bannister has been actively involved in the recent fundraising campaign, funding the purchase of new seating and staging. He will give a short address at the event on Saturday 16 November to mark the official launch of a new appeal which invites alumni to sponsor one of the newly installed seats with a personalised plaque. Funds raised will help the theatre to continue modernising its outdated lighting, sound and communications equipment. Further support is also need to establish long term funds to support students in attending future Edinburgh Festivals.

The event will also provide an opportunity for alumni, students and members of the public to see the exciting improvements made to the theatre, meet the student committee and see an excerpt from a current production.

In 2013, NNT was chosen to perform three of the 12 plays featured at the National Student Drama Festival, winning 7 awards. Students run all aspects of the theatre, including set design and build, costumes, direction, production, backstage and marketing.

If you want to see more about the work of the theatre go to:

More information about this event and the current fundraising activities is available from Andy Shields, Senior Development Manager at The University of Nottingham Campaign Office, on +44 (0) 115 823 2806.

Matthew Bannister 2 JANE EYRE

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