Next scene please

closed sign

It’s coming up to a year since we closed our doors and went dark. If anyone had told us back then, that one year down the line we would still remain dark, we would probably have laughed you out of the room. Go on. No way. It will all be over soon…and yet here we are. Initially we closed our doors to protect our team of volunteers, and then to follow national lockdown guidelines. There was a brief, heady time in the summer months when a small but dedicated group returned to clean, clear and chuck a lot of items into a skip. And now we’re back to darkness. Our beloved theatre might be empty for the moment, but we decided it was time to catch you up with all the work that continues behind the scenes, from our homes and Zoom call screens.

First things first: we’re now award-winning! Via the virtual Zoom screens that we all have a love/hate relationship with, we were delighted to be awarded for Best Drama for Lion in Winter at the NODA Awards. We were overwhelmed by all your messages and congratulations and we can’t wait to put the shiny certificate on the wall for you all to see in person.

We also completed a successful Crowdfunder where we raised £525 thanks to all of your generous entries to our prize-draw and donations too. As it turned out, it was a very timely success as we needed to do some essential repairs to our emergency lighting and the money that we raised paid for this job. If you bought a ticket, donated, liked & shared our posts or sent the link to your friends, we thank you. Your generosity continues to help us to keep the faith (and the emergency lights) alight!

Our committee continues to meet virtually and Joyce, who definitely could win prizes for being the most enthusiastic committee member ever, keeps everyone amused in our group chat. Being able to keep a group of people talking, day-by-day, is not a skill that should be taken lightly and we’re all so grateful to Joyce for her daily celebration reminders, quizzes, tongue-twisters and emoji-based guess the word challenges – LEGEND!

We have plans brewing for things to do to the theatre, shows we hope to put on, bookings and hires from our friends and other local theatre groups, and most-importantly we dig deep and keep on going, always hopeful that brighter days are coming. One day we will be able to fling our doors open and yell out to everyone on Belasis Avenue that we’re back open for business!

We’re trying to get a virtual book group off the ground (we promise, we are trying!), we’re sharing pictures from previous shows to remind you all of the wonderful things we can do and we’re writing updates like this to keep you in the loop. When the world can return back to the new normal, however that might look, it will be YOU that we will be delighted to see. It might seem hard to imagine at the moment, but it will come. We firmly believe it, and we hope you do too.