Entertainment pub crowdfunds for new curtain

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Curtain call: Kenneth Wright runs the Phoenix Arts Club
Curtain call: Kenneth Wright runs the Phoenix Arts Club
Late-night entertainment venue the Phoenix Arts Club in Soho, central London, is crowdfunding for a new theatre curtain.

The venue, which took home the title of Best Live Entertainment Pub at the 2018 Great British Pub Awards, launched its proposal​ just over a week ago (10 September) and, with six days left to go, has reached 44% (£6,600) of its £15,000 target, with more than 100 supporters.

The page said: “The Phoenix Arts Club has been an essential part of the arts community for over 30 years.

“Independently owned and operated, we are Time Out​’s ‘Most Loved Late-Night Venue’ and currently programme over 600 performances a year, providing a vital stepping stone for artists and performers.”

The page also outlined the works that have taken place at the Phoenix Arts Club over the previous 12 months.

Previous works

It said: “Over the past year, the club has undergone essential refurbishment works including: the extension of the performance space with the removal of old walls, rewiring of electrics, painting throughout and restoration of the original art deco floor.

“The installation of a second bar with a copper top – hand-built from scratch by our Scottish brother-in-law – luckily, he’s a master carpenter.

“The creation of a brand-new tech booth with updated lighting rig, sound equipment and software, providing both artists and patrons with the best experience possible.

“We have managed to complete these refurbishments with the support from our close supporters, including Marston’s.”

It then called for support to erect a theatre curtain to create two parts inside the venue and offered fans the opportunity to have their name on the wall.

Turning around

It added: “Now it’s your turn. We are hoping to install the only full-size theatre curtain outside of a West End theatre, into our premises.

“Whether you work front of house or back stage, or are simply a theatre love, this full-size theatre curtain – that opens, closes and swags at each side – will be your chance to take your encore bows nightly. All you will need are the flowers.

“But that’s not all. Paying tribute to our heritage as the original rehearsal rooms for the Phoenix Theatre upstairs, we are featuring the original artwork for the Phoenix Theatre’s ‘safety curtain’ on the back.

“The curtain will be lined with soundproof material so we can return to a ‘two-space’ venue for smaller, more intimate cabarets and performances. Or you could book the ‘through the curtain experience’ for your next private party.”

However, the page was hopeful about raising more than its target and promised to spend anything over that on maintenance of the venue.

“The total cost for this is £15,000. If we exceed the £15,000 threshold, anything over and above will go towards the refurbishment of our toilets, improving accessibility to the venue and funding our daytime ‘creative hub’ – a free-to-use workspace, offering free tea, coffee and high-speed Wi-Fi,” it said.

“By donating, all will receive an invitation to the grand ‘curtain opening’ gala night, with live cabaret, drinks, West End celebrities and surprises.

“Donate more and you can be part of the Phoenix Arts Club’s history forever with your name engraved on a brass plaque and placed on the pillar, right next to the curtain.

“We can’t finish these refurbishment works without your help. It’s time to ‘draw’ upon your goodwill to keep the home that’s been ‘entertaining entertainers’ unique and special for another 30 years. Thank you.”

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