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Helping a small theatre with a small donation of tech equipment


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Hello guys and gals.


I am the Technical volunteer at the Groundlings Theatre Portsmouth and I am writing this on behalf of the Theatre. We have tried Grants etc but to no success anything has come through so we have resorted to asking for a small donation of technical equipment.

I am wondering if anyone knows of a theatre are willing to help out a Not for profit theatre. The theatre in question is The Groundlings Theatre in Portsmouth. It was once a small school and the building has so much history.


Bit of the blurb from their webpage. https://groundlings.co.uk/


Groundlings Theatre is one of the UK’s most dynamic and impressive Georgian Theatre’s. Built in 1784, Groundlings is steeped in history and was formally known as The Old Benny, the first free school in the city. The downstairs was the classroom and the upstairs was used by the Beneficial Society for meetings, theatre and concerts. In 1939 the school was closed due to the Second World War, a Nazi sympathiser used the roof to direct bombers using a torch as they wanted to bomb the Portsmouth Dockyard. The school then became a youth training centre in 1962, before becoming the Groundlings Theatre in 2010.


In 1812, Elizabeth Dickens went into labour with Charles Dickens whilst attending a dance in the building. Henry Ayres, who became Premier of South Australia and who Ayres Rock is named after, was a pupil at the school. Groundlings still has a lot of the original features such as original floorboards and fire places.


What the theatre is asking for is small donation of some technical equipment. This being a few old lamps or even an odd microphone. The Theatre produces around 70% of its own shows but we do receive a number of shows also. We've had many comments which basically call the Technical side of the theatre an insult. I can understand why and when I first started there back in February, to a point I could agree with them and I have worked hard to try and turn that around but there is only so much I could do and I have spoken to the artistic director who has given me permission to ask for help.


The Theatre itself used to hire in equipment but it is now becoming unfeasible because of financial issues...... I won't go into full details as its not my place to talk about that but if you read between the lines then you would probably understand.


We are not asking for a huge extravagant LX rig, just anything lying about collecting dust. The Theatre would be so grateful if anyone could help out or know if anyone has some old stock which is surplus to requirements and need a new home.


We know we are asking for a huge ask but this would help out the Theatre greatly.


Thank you for taking your time to read this plea.


My email is info@groundlings.co.uk

Number is 02392 737370 - I am there between 9am and 2pm weekdays.


Kindest Regards

Iain Banachowicz - Volunteering Technician.

Jack Hylands - Theatre Stage Manager.

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