Thursday, April 12, 2007

Theatre Royal - Your Questions Answered

"Since Thanet District Council announced plans to buy the Theatre Royal in Margate and details were revealed of a rescue package for the theatre, a number of different stories have been in circulation...."

This is roughly how a Q&A on the TDC website begins, which aims to set the record straight and answer reader's questions on the future of the Theatre Royal.

Here's the link so you can judge for yourself and comment here on what you find.

7 comments:

Michael Child said...

It’s a strange site like a blog where you can only place a comment that goes into a sort of black hole, I am wondering if they will do others like it, ones “answering” the questions about Pleasurama, Ramsgate Library or Westwood cross would be interesting. The inference that it is an effort to communicate is interesting, it reads like a desperate attempt to put a toe into the cold water of more open government. I welcome it as at least a move in the right direction, it reads a bit like a statement from the old USSR I wonder who wrote it? The executive who came in from the cold. Perhaps it’s the result of a think tank, didn’t someone say something like “I think therefore I am confused? Trusting TDC with our arts and leisure facilities, is going to be a hard pill for some of us to swallow, given their track record under both left and right administrations. Closing them during the summer months seems to bode ill for tourism. I am wondering on the scale of arts and leisure where the bookshop and local history publications come, it certainly seems as though there is not much left in this area as targets for, is nationalisation the right word? The desire to mend what is working is a strange one, best applied to the chains of Athos and other forms of Russian roulette. Please can we have our theatre back? Is the question we all want answered!

Anonymous said...

Its interesting that you should mention the words "black hole" in connection with TDC.
I write the a few letters about various problems mostly in the Cliftonville West area, accompany them with photos to show the exact nature of the problem but do not get many replies from the council officers whose responibility it is to answer the letters and/or alleviate the problem.
I feel that my efforts are wasted and that the letters end up in the TDC Black Hole.
I have started copying these letters to Sandy Ezekiel in the hope that, busy as he is, the council officers concerned may possibly be a little more helpful if they know Sandy has been kept informed.
Poor Sandy, I happened to be going up the steps at the Cecil Sq TDC offices the other day and so was he.
I handed him my letter and then apologised, it must have seemed like I was stalking him.
If you are reading this blog Mr Ezekiel, please accept my apology again, you were very pleasant on this as well as on every other occasion I have met you and I feel bad about loading my problems on you at this busy time.

Michael Child said...

Getting a coherent reply is something I never expected to be so difficult, however the council officers that I have met during my altercations with them have all been most charming and helpful. I am afraid one has to accept it is often a long hard road to get a straight answer to a simple question. It is hard to imagine why they would push through something as universally unpopular as The Theatre Royal takeover, I think they don’t really understand what they are doing. The arts quality theatre, literature, music and so on are how humanity creates a thread of personal immortality. Before balancing its costs it is well to remember that we are a long time dead. The cost of something is not its value, to reduce Shakespeare to the cost of the ink and the paper is abhorrence, such as local government forming a committee to decide what type of plays we should be allowed to see. The words, community workshops, sound ominous, the mental picture of myself in a sort of Clockwork Orange type of forced viewing of a clumsy juggler won’t go away, I can only hope that the ghost will intervene.

Anonymous said...

Well successive administrations keep on pushing the almost universally unpopular Turner Centre/Contemporary so lets not be too surprised about the Theatre Royal

Anonymous said...

Well successive administrations keep on pushing the almost universally unpopular Turner Centre/Contemporary so lets not be too surprised about the Theatre Royal

Anonymous said...

My neighbour got involved years ago as a volunteer to rescue the Theatre Royal when it was decaying rapidly to ruin. What has been sad is that there has been a complete lack of recognition of a band of people who have for years been quietly working to 'save' the place. It is all very well for TDC to show how bad attendance by the public was (22% of capacity); without the hard work of the trustees staff and volunteers there would have been 0% and a ruin.
I find it hilarious that TDC distances itself from the Turner fiasco (KCC is the driving partner) and yet considers Theatre Royal another cultural necessity. TDC condemns the old Theatre Royal management for such poor attendance but conveniently intends to avoid the challenge itself by severely limiting worthwhile productions. Perhaps the cultural failure that TDC implies of the 'Old Theatre Royal' might just indicate that the 'Turner whatever' has a very grim future of big subsidy by Council Tax payers after the profligate waste of £7,000,000 already for signs to a 'Visitor Centre' for a 'Turner whatever' that does not exist. At least The Theatre Royal EXISTS so perhaps we are blessed that it has been 'saved'.

Anonymous said...

Let's face it, Thanet is full of oiks and oaps, not perhaps the people who would most likely go to whatever was on at the Theatre Royal.
Probably yuppies or woopies are the ideal market, and we ain't got 'em here in sufficient numbers.
Canterbury is a different mix demographically and consequently the theatre is more successful there.
Its a great little theatre and I hope it works out, it better or TDC will have egg on their face yet again, not that they care of course.