Crown Wharf Theatre Joule's takeover

Another theatre takeover at the tap!

On Easter Saturday (16 April 2022), Crown Wharf Theatre will again take over the Joule’s tap in Stone – and this time the kids are in charge!

Young people from Stone’s Rooftop Theatre and Musical Youth Theatre Stafford will be performing between 2pm and 6pm – upstairs in the pub’s meeting room, and in the theatre bar.

2pm: Rooftop Studios will be dazzling us with song and dance in the upstairs meeting room

3pm: Rooftops will then move down to the theatre bar to continue their showcase with some more sparkling performances

4pm: Musical Youth Theatre Stafford will be giving us a preview of their production ‘Wind in the Willows”, as well as some old favourites from their repertoire

The event is free of charge – although we will be collecting donations for the theatre project. Join us for an hour or for the whole afternoon – we’d love to see you!

Star of Stone Spitfire Group Crown Wharf Theatre

Spitfire Group DOUBLES its support for Crown Wharf Theatre

The Star of Stone Spitfire Group has increased its support for the Crown Wharf Theatre.

In February, the Spitfire Group became a gold founding partner of the Crown Wharf Theatre, with a seat in the auditorium to be dedicated to the Star of Stone Spitfire. The group also presented a painting of the Spitfire by artist Charles O’Neill to the theatre.

The Spitfire Group has now decided to increase its support for the theatre through an additional gold founding partner sponsorship, this time with the seat to be dedicated to the pilot of the Star of Stone, Flt Lt Karl Jacobsen. The group recently presented a photograph of Flt Lt Jacobsen to the theatre to mark the additional gold sponsorship.

Geoff Berriman, group leader of the Star of Stone Spitfire Group, said: “The Spitfire Group could not have found a better project to support than the Crown Wharf Theatre. We have over 80 members who have made an enormous contribution to our project and we hope to make this enthusiasm and commitment available to Crown Wharf Theatre in whatever way we can. When the theatre opens its doors, it will be an incredible addition to the cultural life of the town. We wanted to ensure that there will be a gold founding partner seat in the auditorium for both the Star of Stone and its pilot.”

Leo Capernaros, Crown Wharf Theatre trustee, added: “We’re so proud to be supported by The Star of Stone Spitfire Group, and I’d like to thank the group for their continuing support. Getting the theatre open is a real community effort, and the support of community groups, individuals and businesses is vital to the success of our project.”

Dawn Bailey, Crown Wharf Theatre volunteers coordinator

Introducing our new Volunteers Coordinator

As we press ahead with the project in 2022, we thought it was time to recruit another member to the team to take care of all things volunteers, so we’d like to introduce to you our new Volunteers Coordinator, Dawn Bailey.

Dawn will act as a central point of contact for all volunteer activity. Our volunteers have played a hugely important role in the project so far and will play an even bigger role as we move towards opening the theatre. We’re now looking for more volunteers to support us across our community events and fundraising – as well as in the future across Front of House, Back of House, Box Office, Technical and Cinema.

Over to Dawn…

Tell us a bit about yourself?
I live in Yarnfield and I’m a retired Vice Principal. I love gardening, keeping fit, cycling, walking; and now I’m retired, holidays and breaks away exploring this beautiful country of ours and, hopefully, wider afield.

Why did you want to become the Crown Wharf Theatre’s Volunteers Coordinator?
Having volunteered over the last couple of years at various events as a Crown Wharfer I really enjoyed the variety of experiences and getting to meet new people. So when the opportunity arose to play a more strategic role to support the development and future running of the Crown Wharf Theatre, I jumped at the chance. Being a Crown Wharfer is a fun and relaxed way to get involved in something so central to the Stone community, so why wouldn’t you!?

What will people gain from volunteering with CWT?
Where do I start, apart from the important role of spreading the word about the progress and aspirations of the new Crown Wharf Theatre, we get to support both The Crown Wharf and Stone Town events. It gives you a purpose to get out of the house and contribute to the Stone community, meeting lovely like-minded people. We are also planning to hold our own Crown Wharfer get-togethers over the year too, no pressure but an opportunity to put some dates onto your social calendar. You can do as much or little as you like but I’m confident whatever and however you get involved it will be fun and different. I look forward to meeting you very soon!

So, if you’d like to join us, Dawn would love to hear from you. You can get in touch by emailing dawn.bailey@crownwharftheatre.org.uk Or you can complete a short form on our website

The auditorium at Crown Wharf Theatre

Work moves into the auditorium

Things are progressing nicely with the Crown Wharf Theatre project as we move ever closer to getting the building ready to open its doors for the community.

At the end of last year, the Crown Wharf Theatre Charity received a £75,000 grant from the Community and Environment Fund. After starting work on the back-of-house areas last year – which is progressing nicely – we’re using the Community and Environment Fund grant to move our efforts into the auditorium, which is incredibly exciting!

The grant will fund the octagonal lighting grid, sprung timber flooring, sound equipment and acoustic treatments. Work is getting under way on this soon and we’ll keep you posted on progress.

If you’d like to volunteer with Crown Wharf Theatre, please complete this short form. We’ll need lots of extra help as we begin work in the auditorium and when the theatre opens its doors!

Members of the Star of Stone Spitfire Group with Crown Wharf Theatre trustee Leo Capernaros

Crown Wharf Theatre backed by Star of Stone Spitfire Group

Crown Wharf Theatre is flying high with the support of The Star of Stone Spitfire Group!

The Spitfire Group has become the latest Gold Founding Partner of the theatre project as we edge ever closer to opening the doors of the theatre.

In 1942, the people of Stone raised £5,000 to fund a Spitfire for the war effort. The plane was named ‘The Star of Stone’ because the fundraising meetings are thought to have been held in The Star Inn pub in the town. The plane was flown from RAF North Weald by the Norwegians of 331 Squadron. Sadly, on 19 June 1942, the Star of Stone pilot, Flt Lt Karl Jacobsen, died after being shot down over the Channel.

Set up in 2018, the Spitfire Group aims to keep the story of the Star of Stone alive – and to celebrate the huge community effort in the town that delivered the plane.

Numerous events and visits have been held over the last few years. And a painting of the Star of Stone Spitfire by Charles O’Neill has been presented to the family of Fl Lt Karl Jacobsen and to the mayor of his home town near Oslo, to the Norwegian Ambassador in the UK, and to many other organisations.

They have now been invited to the Royal Palace in Oslo to present a painting to the King of Norway, whose father and grandfather escaped (along with Karl Jacobsen) on HMS Devonshire in 1940 following the Nazi invasion of their country.

A painting was presented to the Crown Wharf Theatre on 1 February, and the Spitfire Group has become a gold founding partner, as well as sponsoring four seats at the theatre, all dedicated to the Star of Stone.

Geoff Berriman, group leader of the Star of Stone Spitfire Group, said: “We’re delighted to support Crown Wharf Theatre. When it opens its doors, it will be an incredible addition to the cultural life of the town. It’s simply mind-boggling what can be put on there and the impact it can have.

“In 1942, the people of Stone came together to fund The Star of Stone Spitfire. It was a wonderful community effort, and a similar community spirit exists around the Crown Wharf Theatre, as individuals, businesses and organisations all do their bit to make sure the theatre opens and is a huge success.”

Leo Capernaros, Crown Wharf Theatre trustee, said: “We’re so proud to be supported by The Star of Stone Spitfire Project. We’ve been so fortunate, right from the beginning, to have so many people stepping forward and backing the Crown Wharf Theatre. From individuals helping at our fundraising events, to businesses donating their time and expertise, to organisations like The Star of Stone Spitfire Project becoming founding partners, getting the theatre open is a real community effort.”

The shell of Crown Wharf Theatre was built as a gift to the town by Joule’s Brewery – the theatre’s lead sponsor – as part of their Crown Wharf development by the Trent and Mersey Canal. Back in 1942, Joule’s was also the lead sponsor of the Star of Stone Spitfire.

The Crown Wharf Theatre Charity took on the theatre in April last year on a peppercorn rent and, thanks to support from local businesses and a £50,000 grant from the Town Hall Charities, got to work first on the back-of-house areas, which are nearing completion.

A £75,000 grant from the Community and Environment Fund, in place to benefit communities being disrupted by HS2, was awarded to Crown Wharf Theatre at the end of last year, which means work in the auditorium can now get under way. The grant will be used to fund the lighting grid, sprung timber flooring, sound equipment and acoustic treatments.

Leo Capernaros added: “With the help of so many people, we’ve achieved so much and we’re taking exciting steps to getting the theatre open. There’s still a way to go, so we’d love to hear from individuals who want to volunteer their time, or businesses who want to help by donating time or expertise, or anyone who’s interested in sponsoring a seat or becoming a founding partner.”