Workshops: Creativity became synonymous with the Youth Theatre workshops this year as Chris put together a different kind of programme (see p3). Each workshop leader was warmly thanked for stepping up and taking this on. Faced once more with uncertainty for next year’s Youth Theatre programme, the Committee, with Andrew Stewart taking the lead, has carried out a recruitment drive early and found an experienced and inspiring Youth leader. The Committee sought, and secured, prior AGM support to pay the leader for a one year period.
NWTC again supported another successful LEATSS in 2014, which had some 40 participants and four tutors, offering a wonderfully engaging and interesting programme. A big round of applause was given to John Brigg for organising LEATSS.
Individual workshops on impulse and instincts (adults), ensemble work (youths) and (adults) were well-attended and proved enjoyable to members this year. In addition, NWTC facilitated a workshop for the Waldorf School.
Productions: With a cast and crew of over 70, a EUR 20,000 budget and deeply moving script, Oh What a Lovely War was a highly rewarding, challenging and locally relevant play. Very well received with standing ovations, it proved for a memorable show and one which NWTC is proud of. In his accounts summary, Simon Critchlow acknowledged that the strong management of production finances and some 1300 tickets sold (with some sell out performances) resulted in a “breakeven“ production which was a huge achievement in itself.
At the end of the 2014-5 season, NWTC supported the preparation of two additional productions (Strange Horseman and Fifty!) by assisting in auditions. Delighted by the success of Strange Horseman Chris showed members of the AGM the cup for third place John and his team secured at FEATS. The play and curry concept at Bourglinster was also considered to be very successful indeed.
Events: The enormous task of hosting FEATS fell to NWTC in 2014, and the feedback has been extremely positive with recognition given to a strong organising team led by Valerie Scott with Beverley Atkinson and Rose Flammant playing vital roles too. Financially it was also successful. The 2014 FEATS on-line management tool created by Philip Dutton has been passed on to the organisers of FEATS 2015. Valerie also organised a FEATS meeting with directors which resulted in potential shows being identified for 2015, Strange Horseman and also Fifty!
Social events consisted of two DVD evenings for Translations and Oxygen and a farewell meal for long-time active members, Deb and Steve Anderson. Also Rod McCall organised a successful visit to NT Live as well as helped to revive play-readings.
Organisational developments: Additional challenges faced the Committee this year as three members of an already over-stretched Committee were absent for a large proportion of the year due to personal reasons. The workload became untenable but a delightful consequence was that Julie Fraser rallied an army of helpers to support the Committee and a “members supporting the Club” group set up. Despite challenges, the programme ran according to plan .
Co-productions: will be a feature of next year’s programme starting with a NWTC/BGT double bill of Fifty/Husbands supplied which will be staged in October, then Finding Sophie with Faster Pussycat is penned in early in 2016 and also the all-singing , all–dancing production of Oliver! with Pirate Productions in April.
New opportunities: have arisen including the use of five new venues (Culturando, Altrimenti, Mersch, Bourglinster and Banannefabrik), all of which we hope to continue to work with. Indeed, Mersch has already reserved a slot for October 2016 for NWTC and we now have a potential play lined up.
More communication with the members was sought and the relaunch of the newsletter together with the Club evenings (both by Julie) has given rise to a renewed energy for membership involvement as well as new ideas such as writing a play and staging it within a year —watch this space! Feedback is being assimilated also via the Membership Survey. The recently revamped website (by Karl Pierce and Julie) has provided new opportunities in sharing information and celebrating the work NWTC does. It is hoped that this will prove even more useful as members are encouraged to use it as a reference point with more guides and information constantly being updated and added.
LEATSS: Great excitement surrounds Summer School this year as it will celebrate its 90th anniversary in style with an additional offering of Master Classes this year. Already the school has some 40 people signed up!
The conclusion to the year was that it had been creatively and financially successful. Members extended their sincere thanks to the Committee (Andrew Stewart, Chris Albrecht, Katie Bull, Rod McCall, Rose Flammant, Simon Critchlow and Valerie Scott) and to member Julie Fraser for her invaluable support and also Peter Milne for his auditing services.
Bravo to the Club and bravo to the Committee for 2014-2015!