BossyBuyout: All-female online group starts £3 million campaign to buy Theatre Royal Haymarket
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The exact asking price of the historic theatre, which has seen the opening nights of Oscar Wilde plays and was John Gielgud's home during the Blitz, is unknown. It was opened in 1720 on Suffolk Street, making it the third-oldest playhouse in London, and moved to its current West End location in 1821. The 13,000-strong 'bossy' collective is centred on a Facebook group, and is designed to support women and non-binary people in the creative industries. 'Recently though it's become a power force of positivity, motivation and empowerment in the wake of #timesup, #metoo and #yearofthewoman,' Durkin explains. Admitting the ambitious nature of the bid, the campaign page declares that if unsuccessful, all funds raised will be put towards a female arts week.
So... I keep starting things by accident but this one is huge! https://t.co/Ug97T85Hjx as my mum says - don’t ask don’t get #bossyfollowthread #art #theatreroyalhaymarket #theatre #Gofundme #inspire #create #wednesdaythoughts #wednesday #ask #follow— Natalie Durkin ✨ (@Qwerkydurky1) January 24, 2018
And if it succeeds? All those who donate to the campaign will receive shares in the theatre, dependent on the donation amount, and all shareholders will then be given a say in its running. The theatre will then be operated with a focus on female and non-binary support, but not without imput from men. 'The idea is to create strong female-led work, but not to be female exclusive,' Durkin says. 'The same for management - you can't have rounded theatre without a male point of view.'
Yes, this might be slightly wishful thinking and a tad unrealistic, but hell, at least we're making a statement, and if we put the money towards a women-run #bossyfest that would be glorious too. #bossybuyout #bossy https://t.co/NlXVPOrV6H— Merel van 't Hooft (@merelvanthooft) January 25, 2018