Wowzers! Where did 2017 go?!
So much to look forward to in 2018 from Live Theatre Winchester Trust (LTWT)
By Deryck Newland, Chief Executive of LTWT
Wowzers! Where did 2017 go?!
My job is to support our team to deliver what is happening now, both at Theatre Royal and beyond, while also looking ahead and planning for the future.
2018 is going to be an exciting year for Live Theatre Winchester Trust, which operates both Theatre Royal Winchester and Hat Fair.
During the year we will be refreshing our brand identity to celebrate the fact that those two brilliant iconic Winchester gems (both now featured on the brand new Winchester edition of Monopoly!) are part of a single charitable trust.
We are also going to explore how we can rejuvenate our front of house areas to better embody our new values which include the commitment to be welcoming, fun, brave and inclusive. We will then fundraise to deliver that vision with a view to achieving it during the course of 2018.
If you would like to know more about either of these two projects or put your views into the mix as we develop them then, get in touch with me directly – email@example.com – and we will invite you to come along to informal gatherings to discuss progress and ideas during the course of the year.
The whole of 2018 is already almost fully programmed and promises to be the busiest, most diverse and exciting programme at Theatre Royal Winchester for many years.
Planning for Hat Fair 2018 is also in full swing, with our new Hat Fair and Engagement Director Andrew Loretto, making some exciting and progressive changes.
Hat Fair dates are confirmed as 29 June – 1 July 2018 and Andrew will begin sharing his plans in the new year.
However, I am delighted to be able to tell you that the brilliant dance circus combination of Motionhouse and No Fit State Circus will be opening Hat Fair 2018 on the Friday evening.
This is exciting for me as I am very keen for everyone to become more aware of the connectivity between Theatre Royal and Hat Fair and between indoor and outdoor arts.
So, we were delighted to present Motionhouse indoors at the Theatre Royal earlier this year and in our hot off the press Spring 2018 season we are introducing a regular strand of programming in the theatre, badged as Hat Fair Inspired. Look out for the Hat Fair logo in the brochure. This includes Invisible Music in February, our joint Hat Fair and Theatre Royal commission from Platform 4, a Winchester based theatre company with a national and international reputation. It also includes artists who were a hit in Hat Fair 2017 (Garaghty and Thom aka Streetcomedy) as part of the hilarious cabaret troupe Slightly Fat Features in March. Then in April I am particularly delighted to welcome Candoco Dance to the theatre with their double bill Candoco: CounterActs. Candoco will also be featuring in Hat Fair 2018 with a brand new outdoor work. So the visual, physical and comedic spirit of Hat Fair is well and truly permeating everything we do now.
Talking of dance, my most recent job before this was working in dance development. While not a dancer I have always found myself drawn to dance and dance theatre as a particularly powerful and visually arresting form of expression. During my five years working in dance this view has strengthened further as I had the opportunity to support choreographers to develop and tour new work by commissioning them. One of those choreographers was Mark Bruce, commissioning his extraordinary production of Dracula. Therefore I am absolutely delighted to open our Spring 2018 season with the World Premiere of his latest dance theatre work, Macbeth.
Elsewhere in the Spring 2018 season there will be plenty to make you laugh of course as that is another key programming strand for us and a wealth of choice for families, with well known titles such as The Wizard of Oz and The Jungle Book, familiar favourites such as Peppa Pig and Tiddler & Other Terrific Tales and the welcome return of Horrible Histories by popular demand to name just a selection from the season!
However, perhaps what I am most proud of in this season is the wealth of high quality theatre and opera we have to tempt you with.
How’s this for a list of titles to embrace all tastes and genuinely offer something for everyone: The Barber of Seville, Brighton Rock, Crimes Under The Sun, The Ghost’s Touch, Great Expectations, Iolanthe, Judy & Liza, The Magic Flute and The Scary Bikers.
I am absolutely committed to opening up our offer to everyone and encouraging both regular theatre goers and those who have never seen live performance before. So, if you flick through our Spring 2018 season brochure and can’t find anything that takes your fancy then I want to hear from you.
Get in touch by email and we will find a time to have a cup of tea (or a glass of wine!) together so I can understand what it is you would like to see in your local professional theatre.
I look forward to meeting you in 2018, either to discuss programming, brand identity or building improvements or just to welcome you warmly to enjoy the magic of live performance, indoors or outdoors!