Looking back over the last couple of years, most BLT members will see that it has been a period of change and development for the theatre and one which is set to continue. Last season saw a large end of year profit, a high percentage attendance for shows, record bar takings and more new actors turning up for auditions. We have an increasingly large pool of directors wanting to work at BLT and this year, for the first time, we will be running a training workshop for potential directors in advance of the 2018 season. Some of the recent changes have been very significant such as introducing open ticket purchasing and of course securing our future with a long lease but some of the smaller changes are having an impact and chipping away at the idea that BLT is ‘the best-kept secret in Bromley.’ The Churchill Theatre is now advertising our productions and we have successful and busy groups in charge of development, publicity and marketing, and fundraising. All of these changes are making BLT a very exciting organisation to be involved with at the moment.
There have also been some changes in responsibilities. In April I took over the role of Charity coordinator from Emma Kerby-Evans and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Emma for all her hard work. If you are a local charity or an active branch of a national charity and would like to discuss a fundraising, final dress rehearsal evening in 2018 please get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You really need to have a supporter base large enough to sell at least 80 tickets at £10 each. All the ticket money goes to your charity.
Another farewell needs to be made to Stevie Hughes, who is stepping down from the role of website, poster, and Spotlights designer. A record of a few of his wonderful designs can be even be seen among the posters plastered to the walls of the stage door stairs. We shall certainly miss his intelligent, creative designs.
The Board have been discussing for some time how we can better organise the management of the theatre. We have decided that while Playgoers will remain as an entity for the receipt of funds from the bar, membership and the coffee bar, the day to day running of these and other aspects of the theatre is to be by existing personnel, overseen by the assigned Board members. The former members of the Playgoers committee will now be able to work more directly and we hope, more efficiently with the Board members, avoiding what we now feel to be an unnecessary extra layer of administration and speeding up communication.
Finally. I hope most of you will have managed to look at the new website. There you can find among other things, reviews, information about productions and auditions, an archive section listing all our productions going back to the 1930s and regularly updated news. After much discussion and consideration we have decided that this paper edition of Spotlights will be the last. Printing and mailing it to our members has become increasingly expensive and consumes a large chunk of our publicity budget. Because of the long lead-in time to publication, it often felt as though it was largely retrospective and members were increasingly using the website for information about the life of the theatre.
From now on we hope that you will find everything you want to know about the theatre on our website but we would like to hear from you about any improvements or additions you would like to see there.