Local Businesses Come Together To Support the Arts in Worcester

A whole host of local businesses, and indeed theatre loving individuals, have shown their support for the arts in Worcestershire, by sponsoring the city’s main producing theatre company, the Worcester Repertory Company, in one of its biggest productions of the year – its annual two-week outdoor production in the gardens of Worcester’s historic Commandery.

Dubbed ‘Worcester Rep at the Commandery’, the Rep’s annual outdoor event has become something of an institution since its first season back in 2007. Director Chris Jaeger, Artistic Director of the Worcester Repertory Company, said, “We are, as always, really excited about this year’s Commandery performance. Worcester Rep at the Commandery has grown year on year since it launched back in 2007, but it could not go ahead without the fantastic support from local businesses and individuals who have sponsored the event, in many cases year in, year out. It is so heartening to have local businesses supporting local theatre, and to hear from them what an important and positive impact they feel the arts have on the city as a whole.”

This year it is Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s most famous of mysteries, The Hound of the Baskervilles that is being given ‘the Rep treatment’, in a brand new spoof version written and directed by Jaeger and starring Rep Associate Director Ben Humphrey as Holmes. On Thursday (5th July), the sponsors were invited to the Commandery Gardens for a special sneak peek ahead of opening night, meeting Holmes himself, as well as the men at the very heart of the mystery, Sir Henry Baskerville (played by Murray Andrews).

Representatives from The King’s School Worcester, Bransford Trust, Child Care Bureau, Worcester Bosch, Harrison Clark Rickerbys Charitable Trust and the Royal Porcelain Works, six of the sponsoring companies, were all in attendance, as well as Judith Elkin representing the ‘Reprobates’ – signed-up Rep supporters, a group of whom have this year clubbed together to sponsor a performance. Liz Grand was also present, who is jointly sponsoring the event with her brother Steve Clews in memory of their late parents Brian and Anita Clews, long-time supporters of the Worcester Rep and producing company Worcester Live. Liz will be known to many for her own numerous appearances on the Commandery stage as a corps member of the Worcester Rep, and will indeed be appearing in this year’s production as Mrs Barrymore.

Sponsor John Yelland, previously of John Yelland & Company Chartered Accountants, was unable to attend, but commented: “Live arts in all its forms are crucial to the quality of life in our city and in addition support tourism and our general sense of wellbeing.” Susan Humes, solicitor and Company Director of Worcester Family Law Practice, who was also unable to attend, added: “As local family solicitors who enjoy theatre and stage shows, we at the Worcester Family Law Practice are delighted to once again support Worcester Live and all the extremely talented members of the Worcester Rep.”

The Hound of the Baskervilles opens on Tuesday 10th July and runs until Sunday 22nd July. For more information or to book tickets please contact the Box Office on 01905 611427 or visit www.worcesterlive.co.uk.

Sarah Dawes