Exeter Northcott Theatre is delighted to announce that the highly acclaimed and much loved actress Dame Judi Dench has accepted to be Patron for its 50th anniversary year, 2017-2018.
Dame Judi is admired around the world for a 60 year career of phenomenal performances on both stage and screen. She has won an Academy Award, ten BAFTA Awards and six Laurence Olivier Awards. In recognition of her many achievements, she received an OBE in 1970, became a DBE in 1988, and in 2005 was awarded a Companion of Honour.
Dame Judi was a long-time friend and colleague of the Northcott’s first director, Tony Church, has been patron of past Exeter Festivals and was also patron of the theatre’s former Friends scheme. The Northcott is greatly honoured that Dame Judi has agreed to become the patron at such an important time for the theatre.
Dame Judi Dench said “I have been associated with the Northcott Theatre for many years, so I was particularly pleased to be asked to be a Patron of the 50th Birthday Anniversary. With so many regional theatres having disappeared, it is important to support those that still survive and help them to thrive.”
Exeter Northcott Theatre first opened its doors in November 1967 and has helped launched the careers of celebrated actors including Imelda Staunton, Celia Imrie, Robert Lindsay, John Nettles, Geraldine James and David Suchet, and seen world premieres from playwrights such as Anthony Mingella and Howard Barker.
The anniversary celebrations will begin with an Anniversary Gala on Sunday 12th November 2017 to celebrate the theatre’s first 50 years and will raise funds to help strengthen the foundations for the next 50.
Lady (Lucy) Studholme, Chair of the Exeter Northcott Theatre said “It is with the greatest of pleasure and pride to be making this announcement, and welcome such a towering figure to the Exeter Northcott Theatre. Regional theatres, large and small, are the lifeblood of this country’s performance industries and provide training grounds for all aspects of the cultural industries that the U.K. is so admired for around the world. As Exeter grows as a destination for employment, education, training and entertainment, we are looking forward welcoming our many audiences and friends to a 50th Anniversary year of celebration, and preparation for the next 50.”
Tickets for Exeter Northcott Theatre’s 50th Anniversary Gala and new autumn season will go on sale on Friday 23 June.
Photo of Dame Judi Dench used with kind permission from Sarah Dunn www.sarahdunn.com