Perth Theatre and The Scottish Arts Trust In Conversation with… fundraising lunch with Sir Ian Rankin and Joyce Caplan has raised £8768.80 towards the Theatre’s outreach work in the community.

The second annual In Conversation with… event in Perth Theatre’s Joan Knight Studio on Friday 17 May, saw 130 guests enjoy a drinks reception hosted by Perth Gin and a haggis lunch donated by Simon Howie.

Dewar’s Aberfeldy Distillery offered a whisky tasting and guests sampled chilli jam from Allan’s Chilli Products and tablet from Val’s Scottish Tablet Treats. There was a raffle for prizes donated by Gleneagles, Perth Gin, Dewar’s Aberfeldy Distillery, The Auchter Larder and The Scottish Arts Trust, and a Silent Auction for a Perth Theatre seat dedication and an exclusive meet-up with Sir Ian Rankin in The Oxford Bar, Edinburgh!

Praising the event which saw the Joan Knight Studio transformed into a glittering banqueting room with fairy lights, chandeliers and theatre themed table centres, Sir Ian Rankin said:

“I’d like to thank the team - the setting was perfect, and it felt very relaxed, belying the hard work which obviously went into it.”

Vanessa Rawlings-Jackson, Chair of Perth Theatre and Concert Hall’s Board of Trustees who launched Perth Theatre’s In Conversation with… fundraising lunches along with The Scottish Arts Trust in 2023 said:

“I’d like to extend a huge thank you to all those who gave so generously to our In Conversation with… lunch with Sir Ian Rankin. We could not have raised such a huge sum without the huge support of our guests, sponsors and donors. it was a brilliant event, and I am so proud that we are able to use this to enable us to build on the success of our work that engages our communities in everything we do.”

Guests at the event heard how money raised at last year’s In Conversation with… event has been used to launch a new project for young people from Perth Theatre youth groups and the local community.

Working with Articulate Cultural Trust and the team involved in an upcoming Perth Theatre production, the group are getting involved in the creative development of the show, exploring and trialling new approaches to audience development, improved accessibility provision and project evaluation, giving their own very unique insights into what the organisation does and how it could do things better.

This is an important first step towards the creation of a Youth Board for Perth Theatre and Concert Hall, putting young people’s voices at the heart of the organisation and really listening to, and learning from what they have to say.

Corin Beattie, Head of Learning & Engagement for Perth Theatre and Concert Hall said:

“We’re hugely grateful to everyone who attended In Conversation with… The money raised last year has helped us gather a motivated and enthusiastic group of young people who are already making an impact on how we encourage different audiences to attend our venues. We can’t wait to see what they do next!”

The lineup for In Conversation with… 2025 will be confirmed shortly.

Thursday 23 May 2024