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Sponsor Matthew Craig on his epic fundraising bike ride for the Blue Elephant

Blue Elephant Theatre logo

Theatre news

THE BLUE Elephant, Camberwell’s only theatre, received bad news recently when its core funding from Southwark Council was cut by 20%. The theatre now faces a tough period but trustee Matthew Craig is determined to recoup the lost funding by undertaking the Raid Dolomites Cycling Challenge.

This constitutes an epic journey from Geneva to Trieste, covering 1180 km and three countries over nine days at the end of June.

With only two full-time staff members, the Blue Elephant is already run on a shoestring budget. However, the small theatre punches above its weight and is both a vibrant fringe venue, which supports emerging artists to bring new and exciting work to audiences, and a community hub with many participation opportunities for local people.

It delivers weekly workshops in primary schools, runs two youth theatres, tours forum theatre to secondary schools, works with mental health service users and creates training plays and much more.

Since becoming Treasurer in 2010, Matthew Craig has organised three sponsored runs for the theatre but he hopes that this will be his most successful fundraising venture to date. He says:

“The Blue Elephant is a very special place and this cut is very worrying as this funding normally pays our rent and a staff member to run the theatre. Anyone sponsoring me will be providing a great help to Blue Elephant but also spurring me on – there are some very long climbs involved. I have done similar rides in the Alps and Pyrenees before, but this is much longer. I am paying all costs of the cycle so all funds raised go 100% to Blue Elephant.”

And Executive and Co-Artistic Director, Niamh de Valera, says:

“Witnessing the impact this tiny organisation has on people is incredible, from children whose confidence grows before your eyes to volunteers who find it a lifeline and so many young and emerging artists who have great ideas and we’re able to help them realise them, giving them a vital pull into the industry. We’re very grateful to Matt for undertaking this challenge so that we can continue our work and appreciate any support given to us.”

Details of how to sponsor Matt can be found on the Blue Elephant’s website: www.blueelephanttheatre.co.uk/.