Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The Final Curtain?

Following on from the news surrounding the future of Margate's Theatre Royal, that you may have read last week, a petition has been launched by volunteer staff who do not wish to see the historic theatre taken over by Thanet District Council and run as a community arts centre.

Kent Online reports that this may be the final act of defiance in a long-running funding saga that could see the curtain falling on the country’s second oldest provincial theatre in April before it re-opens in September in a new guise funded mainly by the district council, Kent council and the Arts Council.

It's a nice idea but I really can't see that a petition would attract anywhere near the number of names that might influence a change of policy regarding the theatre's future. After all, if Tony Blair can ignore a million or so online signatures, what chance the cash-strapped Theatre Royal?


Anonymous said...

If arts subsidies have enabled Theatre Royal to save and develop one of Margate's little gems, I fail to see why further support is not possible. Is it possible that Theatre Royal is now valuable as property prices have risen and this is no more than an opportunity to asset grab?

tony flaig bignews said...

One of the most disturbing features of this purchase is the closure of and the passing of local control once more to Kent Council and the Arts Council.

Once again these authorities seem to have jumped in with no plan.

Anonymous said...

The council is buying the building, but leasing it back to the Theatre's Board of Trustees. As the majority of these trustees have no business sense, or experience running a community centre, they will all be replaced with puppets from Thanet District Council.
The theatre already provides a great deal of community use which is not advertised, but this has been ignored in the flawed business plan forced
on the trust.