As the year draws to a close and as the festive holidays begin, we have a message to all of our followers and supporters, and to those that have given the gift of theatre to Portsmouth: THANK YOU.
It never ceases to amaze us on this channel how many views we get and how much interest is generated. From the start we were bowled over and we haven’t looked back since. It’s not even the Mulled Wine talking - the statistics speak for themselves. And how wonderful to think about the knock-on effect and the messages that can be surmised from our statistics: theatre matters. It’s still a very relevant and engaging medium of entertainment. And the city thrives with it. And loves it. And needs it!
For many of the productions we publicise, there aren’t many performers, artists, creatives or directors which get paid. Many are amateur productions - and we honestly think you would struggle to visit another city with the talent our amateur circuit generates. The breadth of types and styles of company and show is unrivalled.
Last year, the Southsea Shakespeare Actors were compared joyously to the RSC. CCADS Theatre has received comments that, for the audience, they have trumped a West End production. Portsmouth Players and South Downe Musical Society have been mistaken for professional touring shows. The Martyndale Manor series continues to deliver quality shows in an unrivalled setting you’ll never see elsewhere. The list goes on and on, too numerous, regrettably, to mention them all.
The process of staging a show falls very much outside of the run-time at the theatre too. It’s easy to forget when you watch, but the process goes months back, planning and rehearsing and staging. Then adding creative and technical flourishes, like sound and light, the day before opening in most instances. Technicians here are unsung heroes. It’s an astounding accomplishment from start to finish and one which must be appreciated with each and every shimmering production. Amateur or professional, the work is unbelievable. But the results are outstanding: if you want to go somewhere, let theatre take you there.
If you can, then, it makes sense to give the gift of theatre this Christmas. Surely there is no better Christmas present than an evening or afternoon of entertainment to look forward to? Audience numbers continue to be unpredictable and many of our local amateur companies need your support to keep standards high and productions frequent. We bet you’ll be hard-pushed to find a better way of spending your time!
Theatre box offices are open and selling tickets for next year’s productions. Companies of local origin have tickets available now, mostly found through their websites or by finding them on Facebook. So please do an amazing thing today and join us in supporting our mission statement: To support and promote the theatrical scene within our wonderful city.
Finally, we would like to offer our traditional end of year praise to all who support us. By sending us material, offering review tickets, letting us know about your shows and visiting our website, making comment, following us on Social Media, you have generated a greater interest. And if this affects just one person, then it’s a whole world of difference to us.
We’d like to thank all of you, but especially South Downes Musical Society for always being forthcoming; CCADS Theatre for always giving us time; The Square Tower, who have become a go-to space for smaller theatre in the city; Sarah Miatt, Stuart Frank, Matt Gibbins and Amy Sackman for forming the core of our formidable team of writers and reviewers and Rebecca Oldfield and the New Theatre Royal for always reaching out and offering support. We could not be here without you.
Finally, we look ahead to 2018. The profile of local shows looks better than ever next year. It’s an incredible offering and we’ll be giving insight and generating material about these productions from January. Our aims for 2018 are to increase our content output, generate a greater social awareness and interactivity with our audience and to launch a year-long campaign to generate interest in getting an affordable studio theatre space in our city. All this and more. Details soon.
For now though, have a bloomin’ fantastic Christmas. And thank you, from the bottom of our hearts so very much, once again.
Now, if you’d be so kind to pass the wine and the mince pies...