A charity gala hosted by Ian McKellen in aid of the forthcoming Park Theatre in London has raised £100,000.
The money exceeded Park Theatre’s target of £87,000 and will mean that the venue’s plans for a dedicated education floor will be able to go ahead.
The team behind the new theatre, led by artistic director Jez Bond, had already raised £2.5 million towards the venue, which is being launched and will be run without public funding.
Park Theatre will open early next year and will feature two auditorium, one with a capacity of 200 and another with 90 seats.
Other guests at the gala evening, which was hosted at the Globe Theatre’s Underglobe space, included Benedict Cumberbatch, Stephen Daldy, Tom Stoppard, Patrick Stewart, Celia Imrie and Rupert Goold.
Bond commented: “We’ve always been passionate about having ambassadors who are not just names on a piece of paper – we specifically said you will have to pick up the phone, write letters, tell your friends etc - that’s what being a real ambassador is – and they’ve really embraced that.”