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Festive Thanks


To all Tower members and friends,

We’ve bid farewell to our Autumn Season, which means Christmas is just around the corner. Forget Mariah Carey – what I’ve heard most this December is the phrase ‘oh it does come round quickly doesn’t it?’ usually followed by ‘it’s quite terrifying.’ 

What a year its been for the Tower. From our sensational Beckett double bill, to classics like Our Country’s Good and Under Milk Wood, to Pal Joey, our first musical in our new home. In July, we welcomed Lord Neil Kinnock for a Q&A following our production of Labour Of Love. October saw local audiences turn up in spades for Angharad Ormond’s imaginative staging of The Little Prince, whilst November brought triumph to two of our members, Adenike Ojo and Mya Onwugbonu, at the Black British Theatre Awards, as Best Playwright and Best Director respectively. Special mention should go to the former, as Adenike won in recognition of her fabulous work on the Tower’s June sellout smash In Hiding

I would like to take the opportunity to highlight two very important members of the Tower family who joined us this year. 

Firstly to our General Manager, Jess Vollar Bell, for her constant dedication, patience and energy, ensuring the building and this company is running smoothly. 

Secondly to our Marketing Manager Esme Constanti, who has brought a wealth of experience and knowledge for us to draw on, as we continue to refine our marketing procedures. Huge, festive thanks to both Jess and Esme, and all they have done for the Tower. 

I must also extend my thanks to the brilliant Tom Bailey who stepped down as our General Manager earlier this year, and of course to the wonderful Ruth Sanderson who retired as Administrator of the organisation after nearly 20 years. 

There are so many people that go above and beyond the call of duty, in order to make the Tower Theatre the success that it is. Whatever role you’ve taken at the Tower in 2023, whether you’ve been onstage or off, if you’ve painted the set, worked Front Of House or on the Bar, changed a lightbulb, redecorated the Tuerk Rehearsal Room, sat on any of our numerous committees, operated lighting or sound, or handed out some flyers, please accept my heartfelt thanks.

Believe it or not, there is a group of members who continue to do the lion’s share of these jobs. There are too many of you to name (I’ll invariably forget someone – you know who you are!) but without the commitment of these members, many of whom are longstanding, the Tower Theatre would not be where it is today. 

For those perhaps slightly newer members who are starting to think about your New Year’s resolutions, may I offer you something to think about – please come and support us. The Tower is only as strong as those who will come and volunteer their time to us – we are always looking out for fresh faces to come and help out. Could you give up an evening a month to come and sell some programmes, or pour some glasses of wine? Could you give up the odd Sunday morning to help a production’s get-in? There are so many ways to get involved at the Tower, and so many ways to help out if you can. If you think 2024 could be the year where you start to donate a bit more of your time to us, please may I direct you to this lovely online form www.towertheatre.org.uk/join-us/

I hope you’ve all had an entertaining, creative, productive, thought-provoking and memorable year at the Tower Theatre. Whether you’ve been with us since 1965, or whether you joined us yesterday, it is the strength and passion of our members and friends that keeps the beating heart of theatre alive in Stoke Newington. I want to extend a big thank you to all of you and, if you celebrate, a very Merry Christmas and best wishes for 2024. 

Rob Ellis

Chair of the Board of Trustees, Tower Theatre

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