June Edition 2023
Artistic Directors Blog
Well just when you might think the season is pretty much wrapped up – I’d say hold your horses! We still have three great shows in prospect. Don’t forget to come along and see The Red Lion next week from the pen of the always-excellent Patrick Marber. Matt Gray directs the show and if you like a bit of soccer – and even if you don’t – this is the show for you. It’s on all next week.
And at the end of June we have a double-bill from our youth and junior groups. For one we move across to Woodside Hall where the youth theatre are putting on The Great Gatsby. With Katie-Wench directing it is, as you might expect, a strongly movement based show using an excellent new script that owes something to Baz Luhrmann. Tickets on sale now and it runs until 1 July. At the same time our juniors present their end of season Comedy Showcase in The Studio – a series of comedy sketches; an evening of laughter for everyone.
We are looking for staff for all our shows. The theatre is incredibly busy and it needs kind and willing hands to manage front of house, work in the bar and coffee shop as well as stewards to keep our punters safe and well-looked after. We ask that all members – not just the same old stalwarts – help out otherwise we may have to have shows with shorter runs or shows with no bar – unthinkable, I know. So many people do help but we still need more. I’m addressing I suppose those who come to act but do no more. Sorry guys, this is an amateur theatre and there’s no stars here. We must all help out. The system is pretty cool and is all handled automatically via rota-central. Just log on and sign up. Thanks.
Talking of actors, the scripts are out for our October show, The Height of the Storm directed by Keith Swainston. It’s a brilliant show so do come along and get a script or contact Keith on email@example.com – auditions 20 and 22 June – more info on that later in The GreenRoom.
Finally – it was great to see the camaraderie evident onstage and off in our production of Company recently. The cast and crew really bonded and that is what we love to see. When things go so well, it‘s a dream, but this is not always the case; interestingly we have a Code of Conduct here at the theatre which is well worth bringing to the fore. The code is in place to ensure we do look after each other rather than – well you know – pick fights or upset each other. Of course most of the time there is no need for a code, but it does remind us all to be caring for the welfare of ourselves and others. We live in such a stressful world that we want the QMT to be a safe haven, a place where your mental health is cherished not tested.
Happy June to all
The Red Lion
Passion. Loyalty. Salvation. Small time semi-pro football, the non-league. A world away from the wealth and the television cameras. A young player touched with brilliance arrives from nowhere. An ambitious manager determines to make him his own. And the old soul of the club still has dreams of glory. A haunting and humorous new play about the dying romance of the great English game – and the tender, savage love that powers it.
In memory of our dear friend Keith Warren.
Audition News – The Height of the Storm
- Tuesday 20th & Thursday 22nd Jun 2023 at 7:45pm
The Height of the Storm by Florian Zeller tells the story of Andre and Madeleine who have been in love for over fifty years. This weekend, as their daughters visit, something feels unusual. A bunch of flowers arrives, but who sent them? A woman from the past turns up. But who is she? And why does Andre feel like he isn’t there at all?
The Guardian says…
Height of the storm puzzles the brain whilst touching the heart.
It’s about love, loss and the unbearable pain of absence.
The running time of this play is about 70-80 minutes without an interval and is a main house production.
Please note the ages given are a guide only and I will cast according to those auditioning.
70’s – Cussed, awkward, authoritarian, yet also baffled, bereft and helplessly dependent
70’s – Copes well and is definitely in charge of her home.
50’s – The elder and more pragmatic of the two daughters
40’s – Younger daughter who is flighty and irresponsible
- A Woman
50’s – The woman from the past. Sensual, languid and very confident
- A Man
50’s – An estate agent. Possibly Elise’s new boyfriend. He doesn’t want to be there.
October 2nd – 7th
Any questions please contact Keith
News From The EC
The executive committee met earlier this week and discussed many things as the season draws to a close. The key points of discussion were The Gala Celebration, which is just over a month away. Claudia, who is the Chair of the gala committee updated us all on the massive progress that has been made with the plans to make the evening a night to remember. For those of you who have booked your place at this special evening, you’ll be contacted very shortly to make your final menu selections. If you’ve not yet secured your place, there are only a couple of tickets left, so if you’re interested in attending please do so very soon, or it might be too late.
We also discussed the refurbishment work that has started this week – but there is more on that later…you’ll have seen my Facebook and email update on this work, which is a very exciting transformation of our Front of House space. It’s long over due and will be the first of several phases of work that makes our theatre an even more amazing space to be.
The AGM was also a topic on conversation. Being held on 13 July 2023 you’ll shortly receive all the information you need to know – but we would urge as many of you as possible to attend this event. Ultimately, The QMT and The Bancroft Players is YOUR society, YOUR theatre, YOUR hobby and without you it’s nothing. We have some key roles opening up this year that we simply cannot operate without, so please consider playing an active part in running the society, or forming a team of people that can share the responsibility? More information will be published shortly on The AGM and the roles that need to be filled.
A number of key documents were also subject of conversation at the last meeting. Rory has already mentioned one, our Code of Conduct – which is there to set out the expectation of how we treat each other. In addition to this we will also be presenting an updated Grievance Policy and Process; obviously we hope this is never used or needed, but as part of our transition to a CIO, it is best practice that we have one and will clearly set out how people can raise concerns and how those concerns will be managed. We also discussed our Safeguarding Policy; now this is going to be reviewed and updated based on some operational issues we’ve experienced this season to ensure we can maintain the levels of safety for everyone, but also still carry out the work that’s needed to run the theatre. The final document is an updated expenses and finance policy – a final version of this will be presented at The AGM, but it will clearly layout how we do business, pay for services and recompense those who use their own money in the course of their roles at the theatre. All of these are important to give each of us clarity and assurance and to help protect us as we work and volunteer for the theatre.
The Executive Committee
A New Caretaker
Some of you may already have heard this, but recently Amanda Campbell-Phillips was successful in her application to become the new Caretaker at The QMT – a long term member of the society, who can often be seen Stage Managing (and most recently on stage in Company!) will be donning her overalls to make sure the day to day activities at the theatre are all sorted. A lick of paint here, a light bulb there, helping hirers, dealing with contractors etc…you will see more and more of Amanda as she gets to grips with her new role, so please doff your cap or give her a wave as you’re passing. Congratulations Amanda!
Junior Comedy Showcase
Our wonderful Junior Bancroft Players take to the stage once more in their end of year showcase – and this year it’s all about the laughs!
We hope you enjoy an evening of short comedy sketches written by a mixture of local and established writers.
This evening combines both our Saturday and Monday evening groups for the first time.
- Mr Robertson’s Blood Test by Lou Treleaven
- Eternity by David Garonzik
- The New Inventors Club by Mark Konik
- The Big Picture by Mark Harvey Levine
- Three Little Pigs by Emma Northcott
- Real Human by Rory Reynolds
- Middle School Brain by Debra A Cole
Theatre Refurb – Phase 1
Many of you will have seen the new that the work to refurbish the front of house and bar areas of the theatre kicked off from Tuesday 30th May as a team of builders and decorators took over the foyer and bar space and started to breathe new life into our beautiful theatre.
We have commissioned the team at Colin Hill to completely revamp the public space over a series of phases. This first phase will focus on the decoration, furniture, seating, floor covering and lighting. It will be happening from Tuesday 30th May and continue through to the middle/end of June – leaving plenty of time to put the finishes touches in place in time for our 40th Gala Celebration on 8th July.
During this time, access to the theatre will be via the Studio entrance onlyand ALL front of house space will be off-limits – this includes the bar, foyer, toilet corridor (including the wheelchair access toilet), kiosk kitchen, box office and office space. People can still use the auditorium but will need to access it via the back-stage routes.
This is an exciting phase of the development of the theatre and a key part of making the space a destination venue for our audiences and members.
I will post pictures onto the Facebook group as work progresses, but you’ll see it’s already starting to look very different!
The Great Gatsby
F. Scott Fitzgerald’s iconic masterpiece has been adapted by Peter Joucla and now given the Big Spirit treatment, as only they can.
Gatsby is a young man in love in 1920s America. Having worked hard to make something of himself and win back the woman he loves, he finds himself in a world where money has replaced human values.
Relocating to the Woodside Hall for this special performance – another great show not to be missed. This production is being present at Woodside Hall and seating is unallocated.
June sees one of our mega draws – so a whopping £50 is up for grabs! Also in June the 200 Club gives an annual donation to the theatre, however as I normally announce this at the AGM and that’s not until July this year, I will delay mention of that until then.
Don’t forget, you can still join via the QMT website or by emailing be directly.
Congratulations to our May winners.
- £25 – Sarah Chapman
- £20 – Rory Reynolds
- £15 – Keith Crook
- £10 – Mark Bianchi