A MONTH-LONG campaign asking theatre audiences, staff and supporters to donate cash towards its £9 million renovation has hit its target.

Bosses at the Mercury Theatre were hoping to raise £25,000 through the Make our May campaign but ended up exceeding the target by raising £26,985.

A farewell performance by the Essex and Suffolk Rock Choir to mark the temporary closure of the theatre pushed it over the line by raising more than £6,750 in donations.

Steve Mannix, the theatre’s director said: “We are very grateful to everyone who contributed to our fundraising campaign last month.

“We’d like to thank individual donors, businesses and organisations as well as the Gazette who supported us throughout the campaign.

“We also said goodbye to the theatre building in May so we must say a huge thank you to the Rock Choir who sent us out with a bang.

“This milestone has given us a great boost as we continue to raise the final funds for our Mercury Rising Capital Project.


“We are excited for the next stage of redevelopment work to commence and hope to welcome lots of members of the community to our temporary venue, Mercury at Abbey Field, when it opens this September.”

The project is due to be completed next year and once it reopens the entire building will be fully disabled-accessible and will also have an all-day cafe.

Work got the go ahead after a final award of £1.2 million from the European Union’s European Regional Development Fund in November, meaning it had hit the minimum threshold, £8.5 million, for work to begin.

The theatre still needs to raise £460,000 to meet the building costs. While the work takes place, the main arena and shows will move to a marquee-style theatre at Abbey Field.

Shows coming up include Oliver! which will begin at the end of September, while Madagascar the Musical will arrive in October and there will be performances by Ross Noble and Josh Widdicombe.