Theatre company raising money to fight ‘devastating’ closure

A theatre company facing closure after being “hit hard” by the pandemic, the cost of living crisis and relocation is urgently raising funds to meet its losses and survive.

Jonathan Kaufman, 56, from Sydenham High Street, Sydenham, established Spontaneous Productions in 2008. 

Since 2017, the theatre company has been based in the Sydenham Centre in Sydenham Road and also run outdoor productions in the neighbouring Mayow Park.

Spontaneous Productions’ Tales of Beatrix Potter at Mayow Park (Picture: Mark Drinkwater)

Mr Kaufman said: “Since we opened in the Sydenham Centre we were developing a really lovely local audience.

“But then when the pandemic hit it was devastating.”

The company managed to recover and stage a show after the lockdown in August 2020, but then the second lockdown forced its closure once again for another six months, Mr Kaufaman explained.

He said: “Without productions we weren’t functioning, we tried to do some online things but that didn’t work as well.

“Ever since we just haven’t recovered.”

Pictured top: Spontaneous Productions’ Around the World (Picture: Mark Drinkwater)

Then in May 2022, the company was forced to relocate after its regular outdoor theatre venue in Mayow Park became the exclusive home of a croquet club.

Since relocation in the much smaller Home Park in Winchfield Road, Mr Kaufamn said that the company has struggled to attract its regular audience.

Mr Kaufman said he regularly employs actors who work at the company on a temporary basis.

He said: “Even though it’s not permanent we do have a little family of around 30 actors and lots of volunteers.

“If we have to close it will be devastating and everyone will lose this job and the community we have built together.”

Mr Kaufman has set up a Gofundme page to raise a target of £10,000 in the hope to save the production company and meet its losses that have racked up over the last few years.

If the company is saved, Mr Kaufamn said he has a number of new productions in the pipeline for audiences to enjoy including, The Little Mermaid, Peter Pan, Halloween specials and more.

To donate visit,  https://gofund.me/74511dd8

Pictured top: Spontaneous Productions team and Jonathan Kaufman (right) (Picture: Mark Drinkwater)

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