Runners to take on London Marathon-style challenge in bid to help Lancaster theatre

Two men are to run from Blackpool's Grand Theatre to Lancaster's Grand Theatre - a distance similar to the London Marathon - to raise money towards building a new foyer at the Lancaster venue.

Wednesday, 29th September 2021, 12:25 pm
Updated Wednesday, 29th September 2021, 12:44 pm
How the Grand could look with its new foyer.

The two plucky runners will set off on Sunday October 3 to run a 'virtual' London Marathon from Blackpool Grand Theatre to Lancaster Grand Theatre, aiming to support the push to raise money for the Lancaster venue's new foyer appeal.

Lancaster Grand Theatre first opened its doors to the public on June 10 1782, and the theatre continues to thrive and is the third oldest provincial theatre in England.

The addition of a new foyer will provide much-needed space for the Lancaster Grand to extend their offering to the local community.

Ben Parker.

It will mean they can create an intimate studio space for smaller productions, and the theatre will also be able to offer meeting space, workshops, rehearsal space and work with community groups.

Ben Parker, one of the runners, said: “Lancaster Grand Theatre has been part of my life for almost as long as Lancaster has.

"When asked to describe it, I can only ever refer to the beauty of the building and then explain how it has a knack of getting under your skin.

"It may as a result of the combination of my passions in life, but I very much have a soft spot for this place and to have the opportunity to be able to contribute towards something that will not only help to improve its facilities but also secure its use and go on to inspire future generations is a privilege.

Richard Prescott.

"Every step I take on my marathon day will be a small step to repay the many happy memories, friendships and opportunities that the Grand Theatre has given me in the past 17 years.

"Please support this wonderful building.”

Fellow runner Richard Prescott said: “I'm raising funds in support of a much-anticipated project at my local theatre, in the heart of the community - a place very special to me and countless others.

"Lancaster Grand Theatre is about to embark on a once-in-a-generation construction project - a new foyer offering much needed accessibility, rehearsal/conference space and a cafe to help safeguard the finance of our much-loved community theatre.

"My involvement at the theatre spans over two decades, and goodness knows how many shows - so I'm really honoured to be jogging a few miles in the hope of funding a few bags of sand and cement!”

The Lancaster Footlights cast from this year’s Panto Jack and The Beanstalk will be out in force to greet the runners as they come in.

Their estimated time of arrival back at the theatre is between 1pm and 1.30pm if all goes to plan, so if you see them on their run give them a cheer!

Ben’s fundraising page can be found here and Richard’s fundraising page can be found here.