AN INDEPENDENT theatre in Winchester has issued a final plea for help as it fundraises to secure its future. 

The Nutshell, in Kings Walk, launched an appeal to raise £35,000 earlier this year - and it is urging people to dig deep before its Crowdfunder campaign comes to a close on April 30. 

It is currently at 65 per cent of its target - and has raised £23,000 via more than 300 supporters. 

Noël Jones, artistic director of The Nutshell, said: "We have been absolutely overwhelmed by the support that people have given us.

"We’ve had wonderful comments from supporters, and we are so grateful to everyone who has donated to and shared our crowdfunding campaign, we can’t thank you enough."

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The Nutshell is a small-scale, vibrant, inclusive space, founded and run by Harriet Morris and Noël Jones. As with many creative businesses, it has been a challenging few years with ongoing financial impacts of Covid and the cost-of-living crisis, meaning its services are at immediate risk.

It needs to raise £35,000 to fund core costs, rebuild reserves, grow its bursary scheme, and support and develop a programme while it transitions three existing organisations that Morris and Jones run - The Nutshell, Discarded Nut Theatre Company, and Discarded Nut Youth Theatre - into a charity.  

Any contribution to The Nutshell Appeal will also it to sustain and grow The Nutshell’s Pay What You Can scheme, enabling more people to benefit from their high quality and diverse programme of events, shows, workshops and youth theatre.

Harriet Morris, executive director of The Nutshell, said: "Since September 2022, we have sold over 435 ‘pay what you can’ tickets and provide bursaries to several members across Discarded Nut Youth Theatre and our adult acting groups. It’s an incredibly important part of what we do here, and we want to continue and grow this element of our services." 

Hampshire Chronicle: Nutshell Theatre

She said the theatre was also delighted to announce its first corporate sponsors - Christopher Jones Wealth Management, Omnimed Ltd who have come on board to support monthly events - The Nutshell Jazz Club, Comedy Club and Curiosity Club.

Harriet said: "We have only two Corporate Sponsor rewards left on our Crowdfunder page which gives the opportunity for two local businesses to become the headline sponsors for our twice-yearly Makers Market. Our markets regularly bring in a footfall of over 2,500 people per weekend and we host over 40 makers at each event. This is a fantastic opportunity for a local business to have their name associated with one of our headline events and to join us at this exciting stage of our journey."

In the last three months, The Nutshell has hosted some world class entertainment including Tom Ollendorff, Nathan Caton and it will soon be welcoming renowned band Flyte who have donated an intimate, hometown gig as part of The Nutshell’s Crowdfunder campaign and tickets are available via the Rewards tab.

Other rewards that have been donated include a contemporary dance masterclass from Cathy Waller Co. which will be led by Cathy and who has taught at institutions such as Sadler’s Wells, LABAN, and The Place.

Cathy comes from Winchester and went to Westgate Secondary School and Peter Symonds College alongside Nick Hill and Will Taylor from Flyte.

Up and coming local band Vinyl who were recently featured on BBC Introducing and are current Peter Symonds students, have also donated a gig to The Nutshell Appeal.

All of the rewards can be found on the Crowdfunder page - - and are available until midnight April 30.

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