A team from the Everyman appeared on TV quiz show Eggheads tonight (June 11)- and although our intrepid fundraisers might not have won the battle, they won the war – thanks to a twist of fate in the knockout round.
The team recorded Eggheads earlier this year to try to win money for Everyone for the Everyman appeal. Calling themselves The Understudied, it featured executive director Deborah Aydon, staff Sarah Kelly, Scott Turner and Ruth Worthington, and trustee Vince Killen. Nobody revealed – even to colleagues – how it had gone until the show aired, when they hosted a special screening of the show in the theatre’s studio space as it went out on BBC2.
Sadly, it turned out they did not win the £1000 prize, but oddly enough, one of the quiz questions was about arts philanthropist and accountant Robert Breckman, who began his acting career at the Playhouse in the 1960s. After the recording Deborah Aydon, who had also previously worked with Robert, contacted him, and when he heard about the quizzing coincidence he decided name three seats in the new theatre – to the value of more than what The Understudied would have brought home had they won Eggheads.
Launched in July last year, the Everyone for the Everyman public fundraising appeal is now halfway to reaching its £1 million target needed to complete the building, and create a Talent Fund to nurture new generations of Liverpool artists on a greater scale than ever before. Fundraising events in support of the campaign have previously included the Three Peaks Challenge, a skydive, garden parties and a book of poetry.
Ruth Worthington, team leader of The Understudied said: “As a lifelong visitor to the Everyman and now an employee, I felt I wanted to support the campaign in some way but wanted to do something a little bit different to your average fundraising activity. A few of the team were already donating our winnings from pub quizzes to the Ev4Ev fund so we thought, why not go one step further and appear on national TV against the greatest quiz players in Britain?”
Robert Breckman said: “My theatrical career started at the Playhouse – I remember playing a monkey in the pantomime. Liverpool theatre has always had a special place in my heart. When I spoke to Deborah about Eggheads and the question about the Julie and Robert Breckman Gallery archive at the V&A, it felt like things had come full circle in a way. As I learned more about the new theatre and talent fund it sounded like an amazing creative hub that could start the careers of our future actors, writers and maybe theatre accountants! Out of all the different ways Deborah advised I could support, naming a seat – or in my case, 3 seats – in the new Everyman seemed the loveliest option for me as it meant I could not only honour the memory of my late wife Julie but also our dog, Brian!”
To name a seat in the new auditorium, or get inspiration for your own Everyone for the Everyman fundraising event visit, www.everymanplayhouse.com/ev4ev. The new Everyman is scheduled to reopen in early 2014. Robert, Julie and Brian are pictured below.