A festive production of The Hundred and One Dalmatians has raised over £5000 for two charitable causes.  Birmingham Repertory Theatre and Hearing Dogs for Deaf People, both registered charities, joined forces to raise funds during The REP’s production of The Hundred and One Dalmatians which opened at the theatre on November 30th.

Various fundraising activities were held during the 6-week run of the show with the highlight being a special doggy crèche. The canine crèche, sponsored by Fish4Dogs, was the first of its kind at a theatre and allowed owners and their Hearing Dogs to attend a performance of The Hundred and One Dalmatians.  The crèche looked after the dogs while their owners watched the show.

Vicky Ryan, Community Fundraiser at Hearing Dogs for Deaf People said:

“We have really enjoyed our partnership with The REP and have been really impressed with the support from the staff, theatre goers and cast and crew.

“We were lucky enough to be offered the chance to invite a group of our recipients and their hearing dogs to watch The Hundred and One Dalmatians. The REP, in conjunction with specialist pet food supplier, Fish4Dogs, organised a dog crèche so that the recipients could leave their dogs with us in a safe a secure environment whilst they enjoyed the show. An area in the foyer was set up and earmarked for our dogs where they could relax with the wonderful volunteers who looked after them. Everyone really enjoyed the show and the dogs had a very chilled out evening too.”

The money raised will make a huge difference to the two charities.  Twenty pence of every pound raised will go towards the work of Hearing Dogs for Deaf People with the remainder going towards REP First and the theatre’s forthcoming large-scale production of Woyzeck in June 2018 toto enable it to be completely accessible to all by providing captioning and audio description at all performances.  As part of The REP’s commitment to making theatre accessible to everyone, the entire run of The Hundred and One Dalmatians was Audio Described and Captioned, meaning that audiences with visual or hearing impairments were able to enjoy these services on any performance.

Rachel Cranny, Head of Fundraising at Birmingham Repertory Theatre said:

“As a registered charity, The REP is committed to making its performances and activities accessible to all and we are delighted to have been fundraising in partnership with Hearing Dogs for Deaf People alongside our production of The Hundred And One Dalmatians. The support from Fish4Dogs has been really fantastic and the crèche was a very rewarding activity.”

Hearing Dogs for Deaf People, now in their 35th year, trains dogs to alert deaf people to sounds they would otherwise miss – simple sounds that many people take for granted like the doorbell, alarm clock and even danger signals like the fire alarm. A hearing dog can also give a deaf person a newfound sense of independence and confidence helping to overcome the feeling of isolation and loneliness experienced by so many suffering from hearing loss.

REP First is a three year campaign which aims to raise vital funds in order to ensure that The REP can continue to nurture the region's talented young artists, commission exciting new works, welcome new audiences and reach out to the communities of Birmingham and beyond.