Vice Admiral Sir David Steel KBE DL


Any new arrival to Gibraltar is struck by the unique nature of its terrain.

Stay here just a while longer, and one becomes embraced by its vibrant and ambitious community, whose passion for culture, music, the performing arts and learning is something I have not experienced anywhere else. 

Dependent for such a long time in its history on self-generated entertainment, activities and social engagement, the people of Gibraltar have developed an amazingly broad range of artistic and performing talent.

This talent calls out now for the chance to be showcased in a more fitting and up to date setting than the one that has served this purpose so admirably for the past 50 years.

To be the Patron of the Gibraltar National Theatre Foundation is an honour. When such a new facility opens, it will benefit not only the residents of Gibraltar but also the many millions who visit Gibraltar each year and of course our neighbours in Spain.

It will allow local talent to flourish, and provide the perfect stage for international talent. I hope very much that you will feel attracted to being an important part of this incredibly exciting project.



I always had a passion for the Performing Arts.

I grew up at home listening to arias of Zarzuelas and hearing the reciting of Shakespeare, and was on the stage by the age of 8.

I was lucky to have been born into an artistic family because, despite the great tradition that Culture has always had in Gibraltar, provision for and encouragement of the performing arts among children was nowhere as extensive and organised as it is now.

As a small community we have excelled in the Arts.

Thousands of young people belong to dance and drama groups or academies, the Arts are extremely popular, and well taught, both there and in our schools, and Gibraltarians are treading the boards on famous stages.

This, all thanks to the talent, and the incredible commitment of performers, teachers, parents and families.

But without a proper Theatre.

Despite having had smaller theatres over the years, and some wonderful performance areas, Gibraltarian performers, and
their supporting teams have for many decades worked without the privilege of using a real Theatre with a real stage and playing to the size of audience they deserve. 

Just imagine the heights we could have achieved had we had this.

The small size of stage and auditorium has also meant that we have not been able to host acts from overseas – for both the enjoyment of the Community and in order to inspire and encourage Gibraltar-based groups.

The Pandemic has without doubt confirmed the importance – and the value – of Culture at the heart of the Community – as defining its identity.

So Gibraltar deserves a National Theatre, this National Theatre. But it also needs the National Theatre.

The Gibraltar National Theatre, with its associated Cultural Hub, including the enhanced Library, Exhibition and meeting rooms, and the Studio Theatre will serve Gibraltar so well. 

In addition to providing opportunities for Gibraltar-based artists, it will be equipped for, and we already know will attract users from major production companies, and for conferences, e-Sports, and more.

A robust and thorough Business Plan predicts economic viability as well as significant social outreach. I know that the Gibraltar National Theatre and its Cultural Hub at the John Mackintosh Hall will in future be one of the most used and most loved facilities that we will boast, enjoyed by thousands of performers, artists, and many appreciative audiences.

But it needs your support. 

The intense design work, the expert discussions and the planning that have already taken place guarantee a first class sustainable complex, unique in the region. 

We need your contribution to making this happen. It is the opportunity of a generation and we need you to ensure that we don’t let this pass us by.