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Press Release: HRH Earl of Wessex renews Patronage of Northern Ballet


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HRH Earl of Wessex renews Patronage of Northern Ballet

 

HRH The Earl of Wessex KG GCVO has renewed his Royal Patronage of Northern Ballet, a position he has held since 2003.

 

The news was confirmed during Northern Ballet’s run at Sadler’s Wells in London last week, which saw the Company performing The Great Gatsby to sold-out houses.  The Great Gatsby, a new ballet by Artistic Director David Nixon OBE, has now concluded an extensive national tour. It was performed in 9 venues around the UK, breaking box office records to make this Northern Ballet’s most successful spring season ever.  More than 50,000 people attended performances generating £1.24m in ticket sales.

 

Their Royal Highnesses The Earl and Countess of Wessex joined dancers, orchestra members, technical crew and staff onstage and posed for a photograph after watching the performance on Thursday night at Sadler’s Wells.  (Northern Ballet has published some photographs on the company website:   http://northernballet.com/index.php?q=the-great-gatsby/hrh-backstage - JMcN)

 

Northern Ballet Chief Executive, Mark Skipper, said: ‘We’re really delighted that His Royal Highness has renewed his Patronage of the Company. He has always been an excellent and genuine ambassador for us and shows us terrific support. He comes regularly to see the Company perform at venues around the country and he officially opened our award-winning home in Leeds.’

 

HRH The Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowden was previously Northern Ballet’s Royal Patron until her death in 2002.

 

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I would have to say that I wonder whether having any Royal patronage for any company has any effect on fundraising or publicity!

 

I believe Prince Edward and his wife are very active supporters of Northern Ballet and that can only be good for the company.

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There are donors who find a social cachet in going to events attended by royalty and in being photographed with them at events - so it may help bring in some money. The attendance of royalty does help in getting press publicity for an event which might not otherwise get coverage. Against this possible plus one might ask if  this patronage also make ballet seem exclusive rather than inclusive?

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There are donors who find a social cachet in going to events attended by royalty and in being photographed with them at events.....

 

I saw an example of this at the National Theatre. Some organisation or other (not Travelex) had taken several rows of the Olivier stalls, arranged a pre-show reception and invited Princess Anne. She and her husband were appropriately dressed, just smart enough to blend in with the rest of the audience, but many of the guests advertised their unfamiliarity with the venue by turning up in evening dress, to the amusement of National regulars and the derision of the school parties in the cheaper seats.

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