Chairman’s Report July 2008

This is the report made by Lewis Lintern, Chairman, at the Annual Public Meeting of the MATA Regal Theatre Company on July 13th 2008:

Achievements and Performance
This has been a good, though fairly uneventful year, with no major happenings to report, either positive or negative. The productions on offer continue to be of a good variety, fulfilling our aim of bringing to the people of West Somerset as wide a variety of Performing arts as we can manage. This does mean that sometimes we put on a production that loses money, but those productions are balanced by the many that bring in a good profit, and you will hear from the finance report that overall our income from productions continues to show a steady increase.

Our involvement in Thrive – the nationally funded project where we are one of 16 organisations in Somerset working together – is beginning to show some positive effect for us. Recently we were able to host a Croatian mime company, who played to around 750 pre school and first school children plus teachers and parents in three performances, through the Thrive project. Our Youth Theatre is involved in an exciting project involving them in working with a writer to produce some original work, and we are to host a Thrive sponsored play in October called The Drawer Boy, which has involved different venues co-operating with joint marketing and other production features.

You may not have noticed much change in the building, but work has been undertaken with positive effect. The roof, which was leaking over the back corner of the auditorium and the corner of the bar near the ladies toilet, has been repaired, and we no longer need buckets at the back of the auditorium. The dressing rooms have been decorated, and a refreshment room has been created for box office staff and people in rehearsal, with positive effect.

Our computerised box office system has settled down, and our volunteers have become used to working with it, so we have recently installed a second screen to enable us to take telephone bookings more efficiently. The next step will be on line booking, but we are not quite ready for that yet.

Our own MATA and our company productions continue to do well, and won some silverware in the Somerset Fellowship of Drama competitions. James Scott was awarded Best Linkman in the Cinderella Competition for his role in Minehead Panto People’s production of Jack and the Beanstalk, which also won Best Lighting Design and Best Theatre Design, whilst Summer Holiday won the Best Original Costumes award and best Sound. In the Phoebe Rees competition Minehead Youth Theatre Graduates won the Endeavour Award for Dogg’s Hamlet, Cahoot’s Macbeth, whilst Jacob Daley won Best Actor under 21 in the same play. The Barnstormers won three awards in the same competition, for their production of A Day in the Death of Joe Egg – Best Actor, Ray Eyers; Best Actress under 21 Ashleigh Stubbs, and Best Properties. Congratulations to all the winners, and all who take part in our own productions.

Looking ahead, I have threatened for a long time that I will be reducing the amount of time I can spend at The Regal, and whilst I will still continue to do some of it, others will be taking over from me. Thus this next 12 months will be a time of flux, when other people will be taking on many of the tasks that I have been undertaking, and I will gradually be handing over some of my jobs and responsibilities. In our Board meetings we have been discussing this for some months, and I am pleased to report that the future of MATA looks to be taking shape in a very positive way. Finally, my thanks to all our volunteers, without whom we could not continue.

Lewis Lintern, July 2008

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