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Judi Dench backs Spend a Penny campaign to get more women’s toilets in theatres

Judi Dench. Photo: Andrea Raffin/Shutterstock Judi Dench. Photo: Andrea Raffin/Shutterstock
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Judi Dench has pledged her support for a scheme aiming to improve ladies’ loos in theatres.

Dench has supported the Theatres Trust’s Spend a Penny initiative, which will provide up to £15,000 each for 10 theatres where provision for ladies’ loos is lacking.

“If you love theatre, I urge you to support the Theatres Trust Spend a Penny campaign – they are looking after our national treasure of unique and wonderful theatres for generations to come,” Dench said.

The deadline for applications has also now been extended until October 31, with theatres invited to submit ideas to improve the size and provision of their facilities for women. Venues can also apply for unisex or gender-neutral facilities.

The scheme is being financed by philanthropists Sue and Simon Ruddick and run by the Theatres Trust, which said: “Although the original announcement was received with a certain amount of wry humour, there is nothing silly or trivial about the problems audiences, and particularly female members of audiences, face when they need to go to the loo in the short space of time an interval provides.”

The trust added that many theatres were not meeting the British Standard regulation that specifies how many toilets are needed for certain audience sizes.

It added that funding priority would be given to theatres that do not meet this standard.

Successful applicants will be revealed in January.

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