WINCHESTER Musicals and Operatic Society is playing its part in saving the Theatre Royal.

The group has donated £5,000 to Play to the Crowd – the charity which runs the theatre in Jewry Street, Hat Fair and Playmakers.

Members of the society have performed there since 1984 and hope to do so in the future.

Chairman Suzanne Hall said: "Winchester Musical Opera Society have performed each year at Theatre Royal Winchester since 1984.

"Since then, the society has worked with the theatre to bring song, dance and laughter to Winchester audiences, even making it rain on stage for our 2018 production of Singin’ on the Rain. "WMOS wishes to support the theatre during this crisis, not only so we can be on stage again as soon as it is safe to do so, but so that this wonderful charity can keep on doing the incredible work it does for the Winchester community."

Play to the Crowd launched its appeal in July.

It needs to raise £225,000 by the end of September to survive the health crisis.

Hampshire Chronicle:

Deryck Newland, chief executive, said: "We’re delighted to receive this extremely generous contribution to our appeal from the Winchester Musicals and Operatic Society.

"Community is at the very core of our purpose as a charity. We exist to delight and unite by inspiring people to connect with and participate in live performance and our relationship with WMOS epitomises our beliefs.

"To be supported by our community in our hour of need is extremely humbling. Our thanks go to WMOS in helping us edge that step closer to our target.

"We can’t wait to welcome them back on to our historic stage in the future and will raise a glass to them when eventually the curtain rises again. Cheers WMOS!"

Donations can be made via the theatre's Crowdfunder page, via cheque or by calling the box office.