Fundraising venture launched to help Birmingham cultural icons

Save A Seat this Christmas to raise funds for Birmingham Rep and Birmingham Royal Ballet.

This festive season, audiences are being asked to Save A Seat as part of a new fundraising campaign by Birmingham Repertory Theatre and Birmingham Royal Ballet.

As the two Birmingham organisations continue their ongoing creative partnership with The Nutcracker at The Rep, which runs from 14th–22nd December, audiences are being asked to make a donation to help fill the 50% of seats which will be left empty across all performances to allow for social distancing measures. All proceeds will be split equally between The Rep and Birmingham Royal Ballet with the first 500 donations also matched by a generous donor and supporter.

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in many arts organisations being unable to open and perform in front of audiences for over seven months. Since March, over 80% of The Rep’s income has come to an abrupt and unexpected halt, however, the theatre’s talented workforce has committed to finding inventive new ways of engaging a diverse spectrum of people and communities. Wardrobe teams have committed to making scrubs for NHS staff, Kitchen staff have provided meals for children in poverty through Open Kitchens and the theatre’s industry-leading Learning team have continued to engage with schools and young people.

Birmingham Royal Ballet and The Rep came together this October to be the first in the city to open their doors and present live performance with the world premiere of Lazuli Sky.

Rachel Cranny, Head of Fundraising at The Rep said; “2020 has proven to be a trying time for theatres and arts organisations across the country as performances have been cancelled and theatres forced to close. We hope that Save A Seat will enable our supportive and loyal audiences to help us in theoretically filling some of the empty seats left vacant due to social distancing measures.

“The Nutcracker will be the ideal opportunity to bring magic and joy to audiences at the end of a difficult year and, with the addition of the Save A Seat campaign, raise some vital funds at the same time.”

Matt Freeman, Director of Development at Birmingham Royal Ballet said: “The impact of COVID-19 has had a huge impact on Birmingham Royal Ballet. With so much uncertainty, it has been very difficult for the company to confirm plans and performances or to deliver its outstanding and truly life changing education work to the thousands of young people across Birmingham who would ordinarily benefit from this.

“However, thanks to the generous and ongoing support of our individual supporters, trusts and sponsors we have continued to focus on what is possible. We were thrilled to deliver our first show back at The Rep on the 22nd October and that this partnership continues with a reimaged version of our classic, The Nutcracker, this Christmas. We are also delighted to partner with them on the Save A Seat campaign. All donations received will enable both organisations to stage other live performances during this uncertain time, and to plan confidently into the future.”

Arts organisations do not exist in isolation and are part of an industry wide ecosystem, by supporting the Save A Seat initiative, audiences can help to enable both organisations to recover and rebuild. Donations will have a direct impact on both organisation’s ability to stage and produce performances during and after the pandemic, and to offer opportunities to a huge range of freelance staff, artists and participants.

Audiences can donate to Save A Seat when booking tickets for The Nutcracker at The Rep or donations can be made separate to a booking at

As national lockdown measures continue into early December, The Nutcracker will provide audiences with a joyous end to 2020. To ensure peace of mind when booking, if performances were unable to go ahead all ticket holders will be offered a full refund.

In line with current Government regulations, The Rep has taken a number of carefully managed steps and precautions to help audiences feel safe and enjoy their chosen performance. The theatre has introduced a series of new safety measures such as socially distanced seating within household bubbles only, hand sanitising stations, temperature checks and additional cleaning. More information can be found at

The Rep will be monitoring the situation closely regarding government advice around performances in outdoor and indoor venues, with a number of contingencies in place. The priority, as always, will be the safety of audiences, performers and staff.