Downton Abbey meets Spooks as stars tread Bedfordshire boards

Actors Joanna David and Robert Glenister, and pianist Lucy Parham PNL-160103-134254001
Actors Joanna David and Robert Glenister, and pianist Lucy Parham PNL-160103-134254001

Stars of the stage and small screen joined a world-class pianist for a musical performance in aid of a Bedfordshire theatre.

Thespians Joanna David, who played the Duchess of Yeovil in Downton Abbey, and Robert Glenister, who appeared in Hustle and Spooks, performed at a fund-raiser for the Sharnbrook Amateur Theatre Trust.

They were accompanied by pianist Lucy Parham in Beloved Clara, the music and story of the relationship between Robert Schumann, his wife Clara and Johannes Brahms.

The evening, held at the Quarry Theatre, in Bedford, was staged to raise funds for the trust’s planned installation of an eco-friendly heating system.

Trustee Brian Woodrow said the theatre, once a flour mill, is “uncomfortably hot in summer, and very cold in winter”.

He said: “To replace the inadequate electric heating system in the auditorium we are about to install three Water Source Heat Pumps, which will be driven by water from the mill stream and appropriate piping under the seats.

“It is an innovative and ambitious green-energy solution to part of the problem. Needless to say, this is expensive costing around £175,000 and we have been fund raising for two years.”

The theatre trust has raised about £110,000 so far, with the Beloved Clara performance adding about £6,500 to the pot.

For more information about donating to the theatre’s fund, email bwoodrow@btinternet.com