Friends' fury over threat to theatre

VOLUNTEERS who have raised £100,000 for Weston's premier theatre say they are outraged at news that it could be forced to close. Last week the Weston & Somerset Mercury revealed that a leaked e-mail sent to North Somerset councillors on behalf of Councill

VOLUNTEERS who have raised £100,000 for Weston's premier theatre say they are outraged at news that it could be forced to close.Last week the Weston & Somerset Mercury revealed that a leaked e-mail sent to North Somerset councillors on behalf of Councillor Clive Webb stated that selling The Playhouse was one of the measures that could be taken as a money saving initiative. The Friends of the Playhouse was formed in 1991 to raise money, encourage public support and provide volunteer staff at the High Street venue. It has about 750 members.Spokesman Bryan Moyse said: "This has been an ongoing threat for four years and we will fight tooth and nail to keep it open."We have lost the Tropicana and Knightstone, to close the theatre would be a great blow to residents. "People from around the country also visit the theatre, which generates a vast amount of business for the town."The artistes are passionate about The Playhouse and consider it one of the friendliest theatres in the country."Anyone who is interested in becoming a member and fighting our cause can e-mail theatrefriend@aol.com or telephone the box office on 01934 645544 for an application form."Deputy leader of North Somerset Elfan Ap Rees said: "The Playhouse is the responsibility of the Executive Member for Community Services but we are having to look at all activities carried out by the council if we are to maintain a minimum council tax increase."I am sure the executive will consider all representations as the budget process proceeds but at this stage no guarantees can be made.


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