On the 5th March 2019, following a successful application to the MMC, a cheque for £5,000 was presented from the MMC to the Down’s Syndrome Association to assist with the upgrade of stage lighting.
The cheque was presented by W.Bro. Alan Hykin, WM of the sponsoring Royal Hanover Lodge, No. 1777, to Lesley Alabaf, the Langdon Down Centre Manager, along with W Bros. Michael Ross, Hugh Saville and Kevin Marshall-Jobson of the Royal Hanover Lodge.
W.Bro. David Chambers, Correspondent Trustee of the MMC presented Lesley with a Plaque to commemorate the donation.
The Royal Hanover Lodge, No. 1777 had become aware of an appeal to raise funds to replace obsolete stage lighting with a modern and more flexible system at the Normansfield Theatre, Teddington.
The improvements would enhance the productions by adding colour to the stage lighting and reduce the running and maintenance costs significantly.
The Normansfield Theatre is a Grade 2 Listed theatre, completed in 1879 as part of Normansfield (a home for people with Learning Disabilities) in Teddington.
It is an important and rare example of a private Victorian theatre.
It has been owned by the Langdon Down Trust since 2003 and in 2010 by the Down’s Syndrome Association.
Normansfield was built by Dr John Langdon Down (who first identified the characteristics of Down’s Syndrome) as a home for people with learning difficulties and is still regarded as the “spiritual home” for those with Down’s Syndrome.
The theatre provides residents with a wide range of entertainments.
However, after the hospital closed in 1997, the theatre fell into disuse and was in danger of being lost until the Langdon Down Trust took it over and started to renovate it.
The Langdon Down Centre is not only the home of the Theatre, but also the office of the Downs Syndrome Association and the Museum of Learning Disability.
The Centre holds regular classes, music and art workshops, training days and theatre performances, which include those with learning difficulties, filming, photoshoots and receptions.
Also there are activities for those with learning difficulties and filming, photoshoots are a feature.
All funding and donations not only helps with the maintenance and restoration of the Langdon Down Centre but also goes towards helping those with Downs Syndrome and learning difficulties.
The gift of £5,000 by the MMC has been acknowledged on the Theatre web site (langdondowncentre.org.uk/) and goes some way to providing a boost to the project of raising £19,000 for the lighting upgrade work.
Upcoming events at the Normansfield Theate may be found on the web site:-
and include Puccini’s Madam Butterfly, Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta and Verdi’s Rigoletto, as well as other musical offerings which will provide a selection of entertainments to suit various tastes.
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