Childish Things fundraiser to be Helen House's last

8:00am Tuesday 31st December 2013

By Emma Harrison

IT has attracted many big names over the past 10 years including Graham Norton, Rob Brydon and Jamie Cullum.

But next year’s Helen & Douglas House’s popular comedy and music night Childish Things will be its last.

Tickets are already selling well for the two evenings at the New Theatre, Oxford, on March 24 and 25, which will also celebrate 10 years since the official opening of Douglas House in East Oxford.

Helen & Douglas event manager Lizzie Pickering, who co-produces the show with fellow fundraiser Kate Day, said: “When we started the show, comedians were not the rock stars they are now. They were incredibly cheap shows to put on.

“There was one man and one set.

“Now very big stars are only doing one national benefit a month. They get so over-asked.

“It gets much harder to get the big names.

“With it being the 10th year, we have been very lucky, but as a charity we have to re-invent ourselves to keep it fresh and exciting.”

Childish Things reached the £500,000 mark last year after nine years of the show.

Last year alone it raised £70,000, but Mrs Pickering reassured people there would not be a funding gap once the show ceases.

The 48-year-old said: “We have to raise £5m a year every year. Childish Things is £70,000 out of £5m. It is one part.

“We have to raise that in order to keep Helen and Douglas House open. It is not like there is ever going to be a gap.

“We think the 10th year of Childish Things is the perfect time to refresh it.

“It is not to say that Childish Things might not reappear in the future under a different guise.

“There are 11 or 12 acts a night and the audience expect big names.

“We have to be careful not to overcook it.

“If we do bring it out in the future, it will be something different and exciting.”

The line-up for the 2014 show will be announced in January.

Mrs Pickering said: “Childish Things is the one event we have run year after year, and we never envisaged it running for 10 years.

“It has been fantastic, it really has. It is something that Kate and I have loved working together on.”

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