|Fundraising For Ealing's Victoria Hall Campaign|
'Night Before Christmas' performance will support legal battle over 'sell-off'
Local theatre company A Wonderful Adventure is to stage a special edition of a family Christmas show to raise funds for the Friends of the Victoria Hall (FoVH).
The Victoria Hall was built next to Ealing Town Hall with money raised through a Victorian crowdfunding campaign. It is owned by a charitable trust set up in 1893 with the aim of providing a venue for ‘Meetings, Entertainments, Balls, Bazaars, and other Gatherings whether Social or Political’.
Ealing Council has been seeking to persuade the Charity Commission to allow it to amend the Trust rules so that the Victoria Hall can be included in a £2.5m sell-off of the Town Hall site. The Commission has now published the draft of a Scheme which campaigners believe would clear the way for this to happen, subject to the result of a public consultation - due to end on 27 December 2019.
The Friends of the Victoria Hall ( FoVH) was formed by a dozen concerned local community groups to bring together local people concerned at the prospect of losing Ealing’s largest indoor community space.
“We’re donating all the proceeds to the Friends of the Victoria Hall to support their efforts to keep the Victoria Hall as a community space for performance, exhibitions meetings and more” said George C Francis and Halie Darling from A Wonderful Adventure.
FoVH chair Roger Green said: “We’re delighted to have this support for our campaign. A Wonderful Adventure is a theatre company based in the Borough which, like the rest of us, is facing the prospect of losing affordable access to Ealing’s largest indoor community space. The money raised at the performance will help pay for the legal advice we’ll need to object to the scheme recently proposed by the Charity Commission that would allow Ealing Council to dispose of the Trust's property and have it run as part of a commercial hotel.”
Halie Darling commented: “’Twas the Night Before Christmas by Clement Clarke Moore is a classic poem that forms an integral part of many Christmas celebrations around the world. This poem is included in the performance and the overall feeling of Christmas cheer, joy and excitement has been the inspiration for the play which forms its framework. There will be puppetry, magic and adventure aplenty as well as an overall message of inclusivity. compassion and kindness, or to put it another way community. This is a show with lots of adventure for all the family, and it seemed an ideal piece from our repertoire to perform for the benefit of the Friends of the Victoria Hall.”
George C Francis adds: “The Victoria Hall has been a resource for the local community since the 1800s. It was created by the cooperation of many – a joint effort for the benefit of all. That this historic and beautiful space should now be treated in a manner so far removed from its intended purpose is neither in keeping with its spirit nor does it do justice to the efforts of the generations who have kept it alive. For the community who have recently been priced out of being able to utilise it. This is not a commodity to be bought and sold by businesses for financial gain, but an invaluable resource for the community not just past, but hopefully for present and future generations as well.
The festive show for all the family, ’Twas The Night Before Christmas is to be presented at 5pm on Saturday 21 December at The Polygon, St. Mary's Church, St. Mary's Road, Ealing W5 5RH with tickets priced at just £5 each.
5th December 2019