Conley blown away by support for Lola
THE star of a special show being staged for a little girl with a fatal illness has described the city's support as "incredible" after hundreds of ticket sales.
Actor Brian Conley, who is starring as Fagin in Oliver! at the Theatre Royal, was inspired to organise a star-studded charity show for three-year-old Lola Bloomer after seeing her story in The Herald.
The theatre said 410 tickets have been sold for the show since going on sale last Saturday - well over half its total of around 750.
Mr Conley, who has two daughters, said: "The support the city is giving Lola is incredible."
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Lola, of Plympton, was recently diagnosed with the rare incurable condition Ataxia-Telangiectasia, known as A-T.
The fatal genetic disorder causes increasingly severe disability and premature death, and Lola is one of only 60 children in the UK living with the condition.
After reading Lola's story, Mr Conley told The Herald he "had to do something to help".
The charity cabaret performance has been organised by Mr Conley and around 30 kind-hearted theatre staff members who have offered to give up their time for free to stage the show.
A spokesperson for the Theatre Royal said that the box office phones had been "ringing off the hook" since Thursday night.
Lola's mum, Jo Bloomer, has been asked by Mr Conley to give a brief speech on the night about her daughter and the A-T condition.
She said: "I am absolutely overwhelmed by everyone's response. The A-T Society are over the moon too - they couldn't be more pleased. They told me it's given other parents with children suffering from A-T the inspiration to do things like skydives and host charity fundraisers. I think other parents have been inspired by the way I've gone about raising awareness of the condition too."
A Charity Night with Brian Conley and Friends from Oliver!, taking place on September 4, will raise money for the A-T Society, as well as the theatre's work with young people and communities.
Tickets for the show, which will take place at 10.45pm, after the curtain has fallen on the evening's production of Oliver!, are on sale at the Theatre Royal priced at £20.
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