28/11/2006 - 21:00

Production partner

28/11/2006 - 21:00

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While walking down the high street of Fremantle in 2001, David Cooke came across a street performance by a local theatre company and was immediately inspired to investigate further.

Production partner

While walking down the high street of Fremantle in 2001, David Cooke came across a street performance by a local theatre company and was immediately inspired to investigate further.

What sparked his interest was a play by deckchair theatre, based on a true story about an Australian woman who travelled to East Timor in the aftermath of war and began a sewing circle with local people.

“I’d just come back from working in East Timor with the International Red Cross,” Mr Cooke said.

“I was really taken with the per-formance. They were stuck for cash when I wandered in, because they were so successful they were going to lose a grant, so I offered to help.”

For more than five years, bed-and-breakfast Fothergill’s of Fremantle has partnered deckchair theatre on numerous productions, as well as donating a hoist to assist with lighting equipment on deckchair’s premises.

The company also held the naming rights for ‘Shakepeare in the Park’ for the 2005-06 season.

“We’ve had enormous fun doing things together and we’ve been able to get some advice with problems,” Mr Cooke said.

In returning the favour, deckchair theatre has assisted Fothergills with several projects, helping install courtyard lighting and recommending a craftsman to restore the company’s heritage building.

“Little things like that have worked really well. It’s important that we support people who are good at doing what they’re doing,” Mr Cooke said.

“The arts are always struggling – there are people of national and international talent in Fremantle who are living not much above the breadline. They’re the people that make our life interesting.”

Mr Cooke said other small businesses may not realise how rewarding a donation could be.

“In a small business, or for a professional, a thousand dollars isn’t such a huge amount, yet for an arts organisation it’s a significant contribution,” he said.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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