Appeal for Orwell musical hits funding goal

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The team hoping to stage a new Orwell-themed musical has hit its funding target -  shortly after asking Wiganers for one final crowd-funding push to help put on the premiere.

Alan Gregory, who is leading the group creating Beyond Wigan Pier, said reaching the goal was the happiest day of his life.

Alan Gregory and his team creating the new Orwell-themed musical Beyond Wigan Pier

Alan Gregory and his team creating the new Orwell-themed musical Beyond Wigan Pier

More than £20,000 had already been raised, but that left Alan and his team needing to raise around £5,000 before the funding drive closed on Friday.

But it was announced on Twitter yesterday evening that £4,900 had been raised in less than 48 hours.

The show will now be put on at The Edge.

Alan said: “This is the happiest day of my life.”

Speaking before news of the final funding push, he said: “We now need the people of Wigan to really support this. We’ve had a few big donations from companies, and one anonymous pledge has come in for £7,000 which is very nice.

“This is a last push to get it out there as quickly as we can. We’ve gone for the all-or-nothing funding approach and we are nearly there.”

The show will be a fiesta of drama, song and dance, with the likes of X-Factor star Olivia Garcia and popular Wigan singer Scott Chapman already on board.

The final roles in the cast were recently filled at an open audition at Tina’s Dance Studio in Springfield.

Hopeful Wiganers were put through their paces and Alan said it was an immensely heart-warming experience.

He said: “The auditions were absolutely fantastic. There is more talent in Wigan than you can shake a stick at.

“Everybody who came will be involved. Some people’s voices weren’t right for the musical, so they will sing at the VIP reception and the rest will join us on stage at the end for a mass singalong of the main song’s chorus.”

The premiere in April at the venue near Wigan Pier will also feature Orwell’s son Richard Blair, who will appear as a narrator.