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News: AD roundup

Updated: 26 March 2014

Tim Willis
Tim Willis
Artistic Director,
Loft Theatre Company

Gordon Vallins’ ensemble production of Sean O’Casey’s The Plough and the Stars proved to be a quality production with a strong mix of experience and ‘new’ blood, and although not a particularly well-known play, it played to just under 800 people. With strong playing, powerful scenes and some stunning imagery, this classic of world theatre provided us with a thought-provoking evening, coinciding with similar troubles elsewhere in the modern world.

Following Plough, we were treated to two ‘Live at the Loft’ evenings with, firstly, the Meet the Beatles tribute band, which had them rocking in the aisles. This was immediately followed by Only Fools and Boycie, which following curtain down had them queuing round the block for photos with the show’s star, John Challis. Both shows attracted very different audiences and demonstrated that if we widen our programme choices, we will attract different audiences. I am confident that ‘Live at the Loft’ will become an integral part of our future programme, with plans already under way for more bookings. Who knows – we might just see Elvis enter the building at some point in the future!

Next up we have Gus MacDonald’s production of Robert Harling’s all-girl ‘weepie’, Steel Magnolias, which features many of the team who enjoyed spectacular success on two occasions last year with the box-office smash that was Calendar Girls. Originally inspired by the death of the playwright’s sister from diabetic complications, and later turned into a successful movie, this slice of Americana is sure to provide a real emotional rollercoaster of an evening!

Work is now under way with our 2014/15 season, and although I am not yet in a position to announce particular shows, it is pleasing to know we now have directors lined up for particular slots, which should see the first shows of the season confirmed by the time we go to print for the Under Milk Wood programme.

These are busy and changing times here at the Loft and there is a real ‘buzz’ around the place, a sense of renewed enthusiasm and commitment; and with Board approval, I will now be working closely with the artistic team over the next few weeks to map out how we plan and reshape our core business. I anticipate that we may reduce the number of Main House shows in line with available resources and increase the number of ‘Live at the Loft’ shows we receive as well as the number of Studio productions, but please be assured that this will not be change for change’s sake, and we will still be delivering the same level of live entertainment. We need to modernise and be more commercially aware without letting our standards drop. We need to retain our audience and at the same time attract new customers – this is no mean task!

Please do get in touch if you wish to discuss your ideas, raise any suggestions or just comment on what is happening at the theatre. There is no time like the present!

You can call me on 07818 032752, or email ad@loft-theatre.co.uk.

Tim Willis
Artistic Director

Coming soon
Under Milk Wood 7
Betrayal 10
Privates on Parade 9
   Main house
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Updated: 26 March 2014