Thursday, 24 June 2021

Ye olde fund-raiser

A MEDIEVAL-STYLE banquet was held to raise money for the Kenton Theatre in Henley.

A MEDIEVAL-STYLE banquet was held to raise money for the Kenton Theatre in Henley.

About 60 members of its supporters club dined at a huge table in a barn in Hambleden on Sunday.

The guests included Sir William and Lady McAlpine, from Fawley Hill, and Sir David Higgins, chief executive of Railtrack, who lives in Henley.

The event began with a champagne and mead reception. Guests were kept warm by an open fire and entertained by musicians in period costumes.

Ed Simons, who chairs the Kenton’s trustees, thanked the guests for their generosity.

He explained that the New Street theatre was raising money to refurbish the foyer, which has remained untouched for almost 50 years.

“Our refurbishment programme will enhance the experience and enjoyment of attending shows,” he said.

The lunch menu included wild boar, sausages, stewed plums and cheeses.

There was a silent auction and a regular auction which was chaired by DJ Mike Read and had prizes including a seven-day stay at a villa in Barbados, a seven-day stay at a penthouse in Switzerland and dinner with actor Christopher Biggins at Langans in Mayfair.

The guests played a “medieval” version of Heads or Tails called Off With Your Heads! with history questions.

Wendy Bowsher, managing director of the theatre, said: “It certainly was a banquet fit for a king. We had a table groaning with everything you could possibly want to eat.Many people were generous at the auction and the holidays were the most popular lots.” The theatre is drawing up plans for the foyer. Mrs Bowsher said: “It is looking tired and we want to bring it up to date.

“We are looking at various options to make the best use of the space and the money raised will go a long way to funding it.”

Ed Simons, chairman of the theatre trustees, said: “It was a wonderful event and everybody had a great time and was extremely generous.

“Apart from the foyer, we have got some hugely exciting plans that we are raising money for and we are on course to achieve that.”

Mrs Bowsher thanked David and Millie Palmer for the use of their barn.

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