With a "dream cast" that includes Sir Ian McKellan, Ruby Turner, Sir Alan Ayckbourn, Sir Chris Bonington, Julian Cooper, Alan Stones, Maggie Hamblin, Marj Bond and Karen Wallbank to name just some, Keswick’s Theatre By The Lake is staging ANON3, a queue-around-the-block-for-it anonymous art fundraiser.
Artists and celebrities have been invited to create CD-sized art works to go on sale to the public. Fancy an original by Sir Ian? Or Sir Chris? Or Sir Alan? The twist is that none of the 300 pieces are signed on the front so buyers take pot luck for their £50 fixed price.
The theatre team confirms contributions from all the above as well as four pieces from Cumbrian artist Percy Kelly, donated by ANON organiser Chris Wadsworth.
The exhibition opens a week today (Saturday, November 20 from 10am-4pm, and again next Sunday) then runs for three weeks with limited opening hours until December 12. The theatre team believes most of the works will sell on the first day, so supporters need to work quickly. This is the third ANON, and previously there have been queues around the block.
Access to view will be restricted to ensure social distancing, so lengthy wait times can be expected.
Chris Wadsworth – former owner of Cockermouth’s Castlegate House Gallery and a strong TBTL supporter, said: “After the grey days of lockdown we all want a bit of colour and fun. ANON3 gives us that while helping the theatre in Keswick to survive thanks to the generosity and imagination of the artists contributing.”
An addition to the exhibition is a generous donation by 92-year-old St Ives artist, John Emanuel. The work is too big for a CD case, but John wanted to contribute to the theatre’s funds, and his etching will be on display throughout the exhibition, for sale by private bid.
If you want to visit the exhibition from November 22, check opening times before travelling.
More info here