REDBRIDGE THEATRE COMPANY FORCED TO CANCEL SHOWS AFTER JULY
Despite the ability of Redbridge Theatre Company Limited (“the Company”) to trade successfully for over 40 years, the current costs of running the Redbridge Council (“The Council”) owned building, compounded by the complete loss of subsidy from the Council, have significantly impacted the Company’s reserves and make it unviable for the Company to run the Kenneth More Theatre.
Following the complete loss of the subsidy from the Council 18 months ago, the Company, the charity that currently runs the Kenneth More Theatre, has worked hard to increase income and reduce costs. Despite this and making a profit of over £100,000 on this year’s pantomime, the costs of running the Theatre Building and putting on productions outstrip the income earned.
The Company met with the Council to explain the position in detail and the risks the Company faced. They provided copies of the accounts and requested a partial restoration of the subsidy for the next two years while they continue their work on fundraising development, increase diversity of productions and build up new audiences and numbers of people visiting the Theatre. As all Theatre performances are programmed in advance, a decision from the Council was requested by 13 March 2019.
The Company was told that the Council’s position on reinstating financial support to them would be reviewed, but to date the Company has not been given any information as to whether or not the Council would restore financial support.
Following a Board of Governors’ resolution at a General Meeting on Wednesday, 13 March 2019, the Company’s Board of Trustees made the regrettable decision that performances will cease, and no events will be programmed at the Kenneth More Theatre after the end of the next Season in July 2019.
The Company will be taking a hiatus to plan the next stage for its future.
Jeremy Smith, Chairman of the Board of Governors says “This will be a major blow to the local community and the Company’s supporters as the Theatre has been at the centre of the community for over 40 years providing much enjoyment to its audiences. It has been the starting point for so much talent that has been nurtured within the local community, a significant number of whom have gone on to have professional careers in the West End, both onstage and backstage; in addition, the amateur performing companies provide many young people with positive role models and opportunities for teamwork, within a creative hobby in a fully functioning, professionally resourced theatre.”
Redbridge Theatre Company Ltd.
Redbridge Theatre Company Ltd. is a registered charity no. 264673 and all surplus monies are retained and used for charitable purposes. Those purposes are chiefly for providing education, artistic, cultural, community and social benefit for the residents of the London Borough of Redbridge and broader outreach. It has existed for the benefit of its local community in the London Borough of Redbridge since it opened in 1975. It was created to be the cultural heart of the Borough and was set up as the home of Redbridge Theatre Guild, a collection of amateur theatre companies. To this day, the Company still supports local amateur societies including two youth theatres, with nearly half of the performances annually performed by community dance or drama societies. The Company have produced their annual professional pantomime each year since the Theatre opened and this is attended by over 18,000 every festive season. These figures have increased year on year.
The Company have always encouraged young people in the Borough to participate; involving local schools, colleges and youth theatres to enthuse the next generation of theatre-makers and audience members. They have always strived to provide a place where the Arts can thrive, whilst creating an outlet for diverse community participation through the provision of high quality cultural programming and education; meeting with excellence all the demands on a vital community resource.