Dame Penelope Wilton and Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy named as patrons of Square Chapel Arts Centre in Yorkshire

Square Chapel Arts Centre announce their latest patrons – Dame Penelope Wilton and Poet Laureate, Dame Carol Ann Duffy  


Square Chapel Arts Centre who recently announced actor and director Reece Dinsdale as patron, have now added to that list to include the much-loved TV, film and stage actress Dame Penelope Wilton and British Poet Laureate, Dame Carol Ann Duffy, making 2017 a hat trick when it comes to the support from new patrons.


Actor, Director and Square Chapel Patron, Reece Dinsdale said: “That Square Chapel has been able to attract such luminaries as Dame Penelope Wilton and Dame Carol Ann Duffy speaks volumes for what this extraordinary Arts Centre has achieved thus far, and for what it hopes to accomplish in the years to come. I am honoured to be in such distinguished company, but even more delighted that the people of Halifax, Calderdale and beyond, have a centre for the arts that they can be enormously proud of, and are able to enjoy, in all its many splendid ways.”


Penelope Wilton:

Dame Penelope Wilton, born in Scarborough, Yorkshire, regularly visits family who live in Harrogate, North Yorkshire and earlier this year took part in Square Chapel’s Poetry Quest event – an initiative developed by national educational charity Children & the Arts who aim to increase awareness, access and knowledge around poetry. Wilton is also an ambassador of Children & the Arts.


Wilton’s TV and film work includes: Doctor Who, Shaun of the Dead, The History Boys, Calendar Girls, The BFG, The Borrowers and Downton Abbey to name a few; she’s also had a long and successful theatre career and won the Olivier Award for her part in Taken at Midnight.


Actress and Square Chapel patron, Dame Penelope Wilton said: “I am really impressed with this wonderful arts centre in Calderdale. Square Chapel is a jewel, such a welcoming space on every level. I do wish them the very best for the future, I know it can only go from strength to strength and I’m delighted to be invited to be involved as patron.”


Carol Ann Duffy:

Poet Laureate, Dame Carol Ann Duffy is one of Britain’s best known and most admired poets.


Duffy, whose poems appear on the national curriculum, graduated from Liverpool University in 1977 with a BA in Philosophy. She won the National Poetry Competition in 1983, an Eric Gregory Award in 1984 and her first collection Standing Female Nude (1985) was met with acclaim. She has gone on to publish many books for adults and children and is also an acclaimed playwright and editor.


Carol Ann Duffy along with musician John Sampson recently supported Square Chapel Arts Centre with a sell-out show as part of the official Autumn 2017 opening season


Square Chapel Arts Centre Director, David McQuillan said: “It goes without saying how thrilled we are with this announcement and I’d like to express enormous thanks to Penelope Wilton and Carol Ann Duffy for accepting roles as patrons of Square Chapel, and for all of their support. Penelope does tremendous work with Children & the Arts with whom we’ve had a successful relationship and it’s clear that Penelope’s passion for introducing young people to the arts is as strong as ours.


It’s difficult to use my own words to describe Carol Ann Duffy, one of the world’s great poets – but, like many people my age, I’ve known her work since reading ‘Valentine’ at school. When I saw her performance in Edinburgh I knew that I wanted to bring the show to Halifax and I’m now so honoured that we can count her as one of our patrons. There’s a beautiful blend of the epic and mythical with the modern and every day that I think perfectly suits life in a theatre (one of my first memories of working at Square Chapel is taking a jug of milk to Oedipus in the dressing room). Her poems are complex, important and powerful yet the words themselves are remarkably simple – again this resonates with us: we like to deal in complex issues and explore the whole range of human emotions but we also pride ourselves on being accessible. We believe that poetry, theatre, art should be for everyone. Needless to say we are incredibly proud of this association.” 


Dame Penelope Wilton and Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy join a host of talented creatives as patrons of the Halifax arts centre including Sally Wainwright, Reece Dinsdale, Natalie Gavin, Glen Baxter, Sir Alan Bowness, Sir Ernest Hall and Timothy West amongst others.


Video: Dame Penelope Wilton and George Costigan, who attended the Square Chapel Poetry Quest event earlier in 2017




For more information please contact Sofia Cann, Marketing and Communications Manager, Tel 01422 353073  sofia@squarechapel.co.uk

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