New Artistic Direction Team appointed

Martin Mulgrew steps down

After seven years on the Artistic Team, including four as Artistic Director, Martin Mulgrew has stepped down from the post.

Rather than having a single Artistic Director, as in the past, the Management Committee has appointed a team of three to take over from Martin. This comprises Ruth Sullivan, Simona Hughes and Angharad Ormond. They say :

We are honoured to have been appointed as an Artistic Team, taking over from Martin and the excellent job he and his AADs have done in leading the company’s artistic direction over the last four years, and in particular overseeing the transition period as we moved into our new home. We know we have a huge task ahead, with our first challenge being to help the company recover from the impact of the pandemic and supporting all directors and casts that were due to perform last year. We are keen to create a range of opportunities to reconnect with all our Members and Friends, and will spend the first few weeks of our tenure mapping out our plans for the months ahead. We are also developing our vision for the future, when the pandemic is behind us, with lots of exciting new initiatives that will help the company grow and blossom. We look forward to sharing more with you very soon. 

Martin Mulgrew writes : “It has been an honour and privilege to have helped shape artistic policy for the best part of a decade. I would like to thank all those who have been members of the Artistic Team over the time I have been Artistic Director.
The Tower is a special place and it is terribly sad to see the current situation theatre faces but I have no doubt next year the Tower will bounce back even stronger.
My successor inherits a number of productions for which we already hold the rights which will see us well into 2021. I look forward to seeing them and wish my successor all the very best for the future”.

David Taylor (outgoing Chairman of the Tower’s Management Committee) writes : “Martin has done a great job for the Tower Theatre over many years. He and his artistic team have programmed a terrific variety of plays which have entertained and challenged us in many ways but especially in leading the company into its new home.”

Tavistock Repertory Guarantors Limited (Tower Theatre) AGM 2019-20

The Tower Theatre AGM for the year 2019/2020 took place on Tuesday 12th January via Zoom. This was delayed from last autumn in the hope that if we waited we might have been able to hold the meeting in person in the theatre, government restrictions having been lifted. Unfortunately, this was not possible and in order to meet the statutory requirement to hold an AGM within 15 months of the last one the meeting was held on Zoom, with about 60 members attending.

Continue reading Tavistock Repertory Guarantors Limited (Tower Theatre) AGM 2019-20

Tower Digital Photo Archive Established

The Tower has a vast archive of photos for its shows – largely prints for the earlier years and digital CDs for more recent shows.  David Sprecher and Laurence Tuerk have now established a digital archive of much of this material.  It contains all the photos taken in recent years on digital cameras and at least a couple of scanned prints from each show for earlier years.  It would be a monumental task to scan all the prints in the archive, so the decision was taken normally to select the two best shots from each show; the others will all be retained in  print form.  The digital archive now consists of 50,000 photos which David has catalogued and which are all stored on Google Drive (with appropriate back-ups!).

You can see many of the pictures on the archive web pages for our past shows, but you’ll also notice that there are some gaps where we don’t have any pictures, mainly in the early years.  Click here for a list of the shows for which we are missing photography.  The list also includes some more recent Tower shows (particularly tours) where we don’t have much of a record.  So if you can fill any gaps or have any additional interesting pictures of your own that you’d like to contribute, we’d be delighted to add them in – let us know by email in the first instance to [email protected].  (We are mainly looking for photographs of stage action, but if you have interesting social photos, then we’d be pleased to see those too).

Grant application successful

We’re delighted to announce that we have secured a grant towards the costs of re-opening the building …

A grant application to the Theatre Reopening Fund, administered by the Theatres Trust, has been successful. This means that we can go ahead and install the kit needed to make our theatre as safe as we can make it against Covid. The items include, amongst other things, perspex screens for the bar and dressing room and a fogging machine.

Thanks especially to Rosanna Preston and Jude Chalk for putting the bid together.

We can now look forward to getting the theatre open (in a Covid secure way) in January.

Watch this space!

David Taylor (Chairman of the Management Committee)

Here we are!

A prominent banner is now gracing the outside of the Tower Theatre’s building. No excuse now for being unable to find us!

Great Gatsby now to be performed this year

The Great Gatsby

Production at the Minack Theatre postponed.

We were sorry not to be able to visit the Minack Theatre in 2020 with The Great Gatsby. However, we’re pleased to announce that we plan to present the show this summer (performance dates August 30th to September 3rd, 2021).

World Festival of Amateur Theatre – Monaco 2021

IATA Festival 2021

Feeling inspired to create and devise theatre? Looking for a project to get stuck into? Fancy a subsidised trip to the French Rivera next summer (we’ll just pretend 2020 never happened!)? Well look no further, as this might be for you….

The International Amateur Theatre Association (IATA) is hosting the World Festival of Amateur Theatre in Monaco in August 2021. Over 12 countries are represented from all around the world and each member country is represented by one amateur theatre company, to be selected by a national committee. Tower Theatre would like to apply to the national committee to be selected to represent the UK at the Festival in Monaco. This will involve presenting a piece of theatre which meets the following criteria:

  • A devised piece or material that is not subject to licence fees
  • Must “present cultural diversities through scenic forms and dramatic expressions”
  • Must not be more than 60 minutes long (including time to set up for performance)
  • Must be predominantly physical and expressive theatre (singing, dancing, music etc. as opposed to dialogue driven material) to cater for a multi-lingual audience

To find out more about this Festival and if you are interested in representing Tower Theatre and would like to present a piece of theatre that satisfies the above criteria, then please contact Landé Belo for more details. She would particularly encourage writers wanting to develop original material to get in touch. If the Tower Theatre is selected, this would be an exciting opportunity to showcase original work to a wider audience. What are you waiting for? Apply now!

Planning for the future

Last week the Tower Theatre took the drastic and unprecedented step of closing its doors in order to assist in slowing the spread of covid-19, a new disease the effect of which is not yet clearly known.  The big question everyone is asking is when will I be able to get back on stage? 

The Tower works at its best when it works together and supports one another.  Going forward the Tower has one sole agenda and objective to get the theatre operating viably as soon as possible for the benefit of its members and wider audience.   This announcement is to keep you as informed as best as possible as to what steps the Tower is taking to meet that objective.  During the past week, I, along with other core teams, have been working towards re-programming the 2020/21 artistic year.  There have been discussions with individual directors as how best to achieve this objective.   

Paris 2020 – The Merchant of Venice
The cast and crew of The Merchant of Venice have agreed to cancel this show and re-schedule it for Paris 2021. I am delighted that Paris has agreed the dates for the 2021 production (30th May 21 to 7th June 21).  My thanks to Peter and his cast and crew for being understanding in this difficult situation given that they were all but ready to perform.

Minack 2020 – The Great Gatsby  The Minack management intends, where possible, to continue performing their summer 2020 artistic programme. The Great Gatsby falls towards the end of this programme (31st Aug to 4th Sept). They, along with the Tower, agree that hopefully we will be out of this current situation by the end of August. So as announced last week, The Great Gatsby will be performed at the Minack in August 2020 unless advised otherwise. We hope that rehearsals for Minack will begin later in the summer when restrictions are lifted. The director will be in touch with the cast and crew to discuss. The London run will be re-scheduled for later in the year. 

The remainder of the 20/21 artistic year To try and give directors, casts, and crews as much certainty as we can in the current climate we are discussing various options. These options will be discussed with individual directors and will be communicated to the wider membership once we have more clarity.  Please feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions.

Thank you for your continuing patience, cooperation, and support.

Martin Mulgrew
(Artistic Director)