Crowd-funding campaign to stage Orwell show run

Wiganers are being given the chance to secure their seats for the world premiere of a new homegrown show and fund a full theatre run.

A crowd-funding campaign has now opened for supporters of Beyond Wigan Pier, an ambitious multimedia spectacular based on author George Orwell’s visit to the town.

Alan Gregory in the Grand Arcade at a pop-up event promoting the Orwell musical he has written

Alan Gregory in the Grand Arcade at a pop-up event promoting the Orwell musical he has written

As well as getting a seat for the first show at the new venue at The Edge in April anyone contributing to the bid to raise £25,000 will also help the organising team get Arts Council funding for a full theatrical show after the initial concert performance.

Musical creator Alan Gregory and his team recently staged a pop-up event in the Grand Arcade shopping centre to drum up interest among residents.

Alan, from Higher Ince, said: “We’ve already had more than £2,500 contributed but we need more people to get involved.

“Anyone who contributes will be on the video of the show which will go in the Museum of Wigan Life for ever, so essentially we’re offering immortality.

“This will attract investment into the borough and the whole point is to get everyone in Wigan to buy into it and back us. This could create a whole different way of looking at the town.

“A musical is probably not the first thing on most Wiganers’ lists but if they are the ones creating it and making jobs out of it then there’s no reason it wouldn’t be.”

Interest is already growing in the premiere, not least because Orwell’s son Richard Blair has agreed to come to do the narration.

The idea is being backed by Wigan Council and church regeneration project Transforming Wigan.

Donations on the crowd-funding site range from £5 for the donor’s name on the credits to full VIP packages for £75, with seats for the premiere costing £15.

X-Factor star Olivia Garcia and fellow Wigan singer Scott Chapman have recorded the musical’s love duet which will hit the shelves next month.

The Orwell Society is also backing the production with members believed to be flying in from across the United States to see the unusual show’s concert performance.

For more information or to contribute to the crowd-funding click here