Bristol Theatre News

Bristol Hippodrome Audiences Raise £15k for Southmead Hospital Charity Collection

More than £15,000 has been donated by generous theatre audiences, which will go to help fund research into Long-Covid.

During their Christmas pantomime season, The Bristol Hippodrome teamed up with National Friendly and Southmead Hospital Charity, to collect donations at the end of each performance of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The theatre also hosted tap to donate points, running in conjunction with an online collection, seeing an incredible £15,013 handed over this week.

The cast of Snow White, left to right (Rob Rinder), (Lesley Joseph), (Kurtis Reece – PR & Strategic Partnerships Executive at National Friendly), (Charlotte Haines), (Adrian Brown – Community & Events Manager at Southmead Hospital Charity), (Dale Mathurin), (Andy Ford)

Panto stars Lesley Joseph and Andy Ford helped with the fundraising efforts, recording voice messages played around the theatre during the show’s run, asking people to donate at the end of the show.

“Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, our audiences have continued to give generously to a worthy cause that will make a real difference to those suffering from Long Covid in our community and beyond,” said the theatre’s director Ben Phillips. “The majority of fundraising took place during the festive season, when we welcomed record numbers through our doors, highlighting the public’s unwavering appetite for live entertainment.”

It was the theatre’s first pantomime since Covid closed venue doors nationwide. Amazingly, the venue’s Staff for Ambassador Theatre Group, managed to keep the show open for the entire run, welcoming over 80 thousand people through their doors over the four-week period.

The Office for National Statistics reports that an estimated 1.3 million people in the UK said they have Long-Covid.

The symptoms can be debilitating and life-changing for many, with difficulties around fatigue, shortness of breath, memory and concentration problems, insomnia, join point and tinnitus being some of the issues logged.

Community and Events Manager at Southmead Hospital Charity, Adrian Brown said: “If we want to control Coronavirus, we must develop our knowledge of how the virus spreads, the symptoms it causes and its long-term impact. The research happening here at Southmead will play an important role in that. National Friendly and The Bristol Hippodrome know just how important it is to support the local community they serve and we are incredibly grateful for their support.”

The cause is still collecting money to fund the research, which people can now do online. For more information, or to donate, visit: