Square Chapel Arts Centre announces its latest two patrons

Carol Ann Duffy and Dame Penelope Wilton are the centre's new patrons
Carol Ann Duffy and Dame Penelope Wilton are the centre's new patrons

Square Chapel Arts Centre has added two more patrons to their list in the form of  TV, film and stage actress Dame Penelope Wilton and British Poet Laureate, Dame Carol Ann Duffy.

Dame Penelope Wilton, who is known for roles in Downton Abbey and Calendar Girls, took part in Square Chapel’s Poetry Quest event earlier this year.

She 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.”

Admired poet Carol Ann Duffy recently supported the 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.”

The pair join a host of talented creatives as patrons of the Halifax arts centre including Sally Wainwright, George Costigan, Reece Dinsdale, Natalie Gavin, Glen Baxter, Sir Alan Bowness, Sir Ernest Hall and Timothy West amongst others.