THE show will go on at Kidderminster’s Rose Theatre after more than £16,000 was raised to save the venue.

A Crowdfunder campaign was launched back in March with the help of the theatre’s patron John Challis - best known for his portrayal of Boycie in the classic sit com Only Fools and Horses.

The Nonentities Society, which owns the theatre, asked Wyre Forest residents for their support in raising £15,000 after a year without any income due to coronavirus restrictions.

The society has now been able to pay their bills and more thanks to generous donations, and members are now excited to be able to stage their first production since March 2020 later this month.

John Challis said: “We mustn’t lose this great little theatre so I’m thrilled there are plans to relaunch. I can’t wait to visit soon and I wish them every success.”

Only Fools and Horses actor John Challis, patron of Kidderminsters Rose Theatre

Only Fools and Horses actor John Challis, patron of Kidderminster's Rose Theatre

In autumn 2020 the Nonentities developed a programme of plays which were allowed to rehearse safely following the strict guidelines at the time. A show was set to go on in November but, on what should have been the opening night, the second lockdown was announced and performances were cancelled yet again.

The theatre has needed to pay around £1,000 each month to keep the building maintained and to pay bills. The theatre also had to pay out to repair a flooded foyer in 2020 and a roof leak into the green room this year.

Now, the theatre’s monologue season opens on Wednesday June 23, running to Saturday June 26, with two of Alan Bennet’s Talking Heads plays - Bed Among the Lentils and a Chip in the Sugar.

Nonentities actor Sue Downing

Nonentities actor Sue Downing

In July, the Nonentities are launching Fright Night, which features classic Edgar Alan Poe tales The Tell-Tale Heart and The Black Cat, and Trial for Murder by Charles Dickens.

Also in July, the Nonentities will stage a collection of plays as part of their Slice of Life and Something Classic evenings.

Tickets for the shows cost £10 and are only available by calling the Box Office on 01562 743745. The fundraiser is still running and people can make donations via crowdfunder/

Back stage workers Anna Murphy and Sally Howes been helping to paint the theatre in preparation for its reopening

Back stage workers Anna Murphy and Sally Howes been helping to paint the theatre in preparation for its reopening

Publicity manager Anne Booth said: “Patrons have been very supportive and most have held onto their tickets, knowing that one day we would return.

“We now have a limited number of tickets on sale for a series of monologues brought to you by the finest actors, directors and support teams that the Nonentities Society has to offer.

“Obviously, we are operating a very different system in the current situation; Covid safety is still paramount for both performers and the reduced socially distanced audience.”

Nonentities chairman Bob Graham said: “We do hope that you will come back to see us soon, as with your continued support and encouragement our wonderful Rose Theatre will thrive once more.”