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Image: crowdfunder.co.uk

Shotgun Theatre, the University of Exeter’s musical theatre group, raised a total of £2,000 in just four days after the crowdfunder to get their production of Godspell to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe launched on 2nd April. After the musical’s sell-out run in Exeter last November (Exeposé gave the production four stars), the group wants to repeat their success at Edinburgh’s world famous festival of the arts.

“We’re absolutely blown away with the level of support that we have received. It took us really by surprise,” said Jack Dryden, Shotgun Theatre’s treasurer. “We worked hard to make the campaign transparent and to ensure we had some great rewards for our supporters but we never expected we could reach our goal so quickly.”

The money raised will help to cover costs like venue hire, the festival’s registration fees, and publicity. The group enjoyed yet more success after they reached their first stretch goal of £2,500 with ten days of the crowdfunder still to go. This extra money will enable them to hire radio microphones for the cast.

Now, they are launching a final push to hit £3,000. This will enable the group to pay for a combination of outdoor and online advertising to promote the show. Rewards for donating include access to the group’s newsletter for a £5 donation and a free ticket to any of Godspell’s previews between 4th and 6th August for a £25 donation.

At a time when support for the arts – in the economic sense, at least – seems to be in danger of hearing the fat lady sing, it’s touching to see such immense support for student theatre. The sheer cost of performing at the Fringe (venue hire is £6,500, according to Shotgun Theatre’s crowdfunder page) highlights the ever-increasing inaccessibility of the arts, which coupled with funding cuts doesn’t paint a particularly hopeful picture for the future of the creative industries.

But, clearly, it’s not all bad news. With the enormous success of Shotgun Theatre’s crowdfunding attempts thus far, it seems that Godspell is on track to take Edinburgh by storm (with radio microphones in tow).

Godspell will be performed between 4th and 19th August in the Emerald Theatre at Greenside @ Nicolson Square.

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