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- IT’S PANTO TIME! OH NO IT’S NOT -

By Liena Wright | November 9th, 2020
Picture: Lorne Campbell / Guzelian
Northern Bloc ice cream photoshoot at the City Varieties Theatre in Leeds, West Yorkshire.
PICTURE TAKEN ON MONDAY 2 NOVEMBER  2020

Why it’s so important to keep fighting for the arts this Christmas 

Our vegan white chocolate and honeycomb tubs, called The Show Must Go On! have been available in Waitrose for over a month now and we’ve been overwhelmed with the response. But as we do the best our best to get into the Christmas spirit, here’s a reminder as to why we created the tubs and why the arts still need our help.

 

The Show Must Go On!

All proceeds from our limited edition go to Theatre Support Fund+, a charitable organisation set up to support out of work theatre staff through the pandemic. This Christmas, the organisation is still busier than ever, helping the freelancers who are eligible for no government support and have had no work since the spring. Despite theatre bosses working through the autumn towards a Christmas opening of sorts (albeit with reduced numbers) which would have been a step in the right direction, the second lockdown and subsequent tiered restrictions have meant that this hasn’t been able to happen. The industry still faces grave danger. Whilst government grants have gone some way to helping some theatres, that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to saving this institution of British culture, not to mention thousands and thousands of jobs.

You might have gathered that we feel pretty strongly about this. And you’d be right. Some of our very first customers were theatres. They supported us and stocked our ice cream when we were just starting out. This is our chance to help them. The Show Must Go On! Is available in Waitrose, in store and online, now.  

 

Meet Kenny

We’ve been meeting some of the incredibly talented theatre staff who have found themselves out of work. Actor, Kenny Davies, was set to reprise his role in the annual Rock ‘n’ Roll Pantomime this year in Leeds, which would have been his tenth year taking part in panto in his home town. The panto is held at City Varieties, the longest running music hall in the country and has become quite the institution.  Kenny also performs in numerous productions in theatres across the country, plays the odd music gig and between performances, sells Northern Bloc’s ice cream at Leeds Grand Theatre, City Varieties’ sister venue. None of that work is available to him this year. The one silver lining is that he became a father this autumn to lovely baby boy called Eddie, so he’s able to spend his first Christmas off in eleven years with his young family. But Kenny and his colleagues still need our support. 

 

What is Theatre Support Found+

Theatre Support Fund+ was founded by industry workers Chris Marcus and Damien Stanton. The pair designed ‘The Show Must Go On! ’ t-shirts, made up of famous artwork from 16 of the world’s most popular musicals and receiving over 40,000 orders to date, have raised over £500,000. These profits have gone to three charities; Acting For Others, The Fleabag Support Fund and the NHS Covid-19 Urgent Appeal. Our theatre tubs in Waitrose are another product supporting the cause. Please do your bit if you can. 

 

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