Cycling challenge boosts theatre’s survival appeal

Charlie Moore at the Marina Theatre in Lowestoft, with Emma Butler Smith, the Marina Theatre’s chief

Charlie Moore at the Marina Theatre in Lowestoft, with Emma Butler Smith, the Marina Theatre’s chief executive. Picture: The Marina Theatre - Credit: Archant

Staff at a popular theatre have praised the kind-hearted efforts of a 11-year-old boy after he raised funds for its survival appeal.

In July, the Marina Theatre, in Lowestoft, called on the community to help with a campaign to raise £100,000 to recover from the impact of coronavirus.

And rallying round to help, theatre management expressed their delight after Charlie Moore completed a 70-mile bike ride to raise funds for the appeal.

Before the pandemic Charlie, 11, was a keen member of the Marina’s youth theatre and he wanted to do something to help.

Charlie completed his bike ride on the August bank holiday after cycling from Wells-next-to-the-Sea to the Marina Theatre – as he raised “an amazing” £720 for the Marina’s appeal.

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Charlie said: “The most I had cycled before this date was 30 miles, so cycling 70 miles was a massive challenge to me.

“I was originally going to cycle 50 but I felt I needed a bigger challenge to get more sponsors.

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“My dad cycled with me and my mum met us at intervals with water and food... and a puncture kit!”

Charlie’s mum Christine said: “As soon as he saw the appeal he came straight to me with different ideas, he was adamant he was going to do something to help.

“It was quite a windy day and Charlie started to ache at around 50 miles, but he pushed through and he is so happy that he completed it.”

The Marina Theatre launched its survival appeal on July 30 and since then they have raised more than £19,000.

Emma Butler Smith, the Marina Theatre’s chief executive, said: “The last six months have been really brutal.

“We’ve lost over £420,000 in box office income, cancelled over 300 shows and had to make 35 redundancies so when we heard that Charlie wanted to raise money for our survival appeal it really boosted our morale.

“There is light at the end of the tunnel and the Marina Theatre will come back stronger than ever before.

“We would like to say a massive thanks to Charlie and his parents for raising this money for us and we can’t wait to see them back at the theatre soon.”

To make a donation to the Marina Theatre survival appeal visit or call 01502 533200.

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