Building Work Continues Apace

While the theatre is closed, we are pressing ahead with several building projects, which will be finished in the next few weeks.

  • The lift installation continues apace. We expect the actual lift to be working this week.  Then the work to complete the three lift lobbys can go ahead: plastering, decorating and completing the electrics.
  • The shiny new roof over the dressing room and back stage areas has been completed and the air conditioning units replaced. No longer will casts and stage managers wonder if bits of the ceiling are going to fall on their heads when it rains
  • We are widening the top flight of the main staircase up to the theatre.  This will increase the safe capacity of the theatre and make it faster for audiences to enter and leave the auditorium

Pictures (clockwise from top left)

  • Jamie, the lift engineer, taking an inaugural trip on the new lift platform
  • Looking up the lift shaft through the roof of the new lift car
  • Getting ready to cast the new concrete staircase
  • Air conditioning units being re-instated on the new roof

New Neighbours in Garnham Street Car Park

The current owner of the car park at the rear of the Tower Theatre has now sold it and we have new neighbours. Artform, which carries out high quality medium sized developments, has purchased the site and plans to start construction in September. The development of 8 flats is planned to complete in the last quarter of next year.

Our pedestrian access to the rear of the building will remain open throughout.

Car park with developer's sign
Developer’s Signage On the Car Park
Architects impression of the new development
Architect’s Impression of the New Development in the Car Park

Directors – Pitch Your Social Distance Show

We are inviting proposals from experienced directors with the Tower Theatre to pitch for a production as we look into the feasibility of live-streaming one or more productions for an online Autumn season. This will be performed by a cast under social-distance measures in our own auditorium and streamed online for members and the wider audience to view from the safety and comfort of their own homes.
Whilst this will be a technical challenge for all involved and will no doubt have some bumps along the way, we are hoping this shorter than usual season will give those still keen to create a memorable theatrical experience, albeit through a slightly different medium – something exciting and creative to work on. 

What are we looking for :

– A play requiring a small cast of no more than 4 – ideally 2
– A shorter running time of no longer than 90mins (longer pieces will be considered if deemed suitable)
– Little or no set required
– Minimal costume or changes and no costume rental
– A play that requires no physical contact

If you are interested and wish to pitch for a slot, please send us the details of your proposal, cast size, running time, costume/set requirements and no more than 300 words with a brief synopsis and why you think the play would be suitable and of course exciting for us to watch!

More details are to follow in terms of the strict guidelines that are to be adhered to when utilising the spaces available to us in the theatre for rehearsals and indeed the performance itself.

The deadline for proposals is Friday 10th July. Please send your proposals (no more than 2) to [email protected].

(This is a new email address for the Artistic Team – please use from now on to contact them)

The Lift Arrives

Lots going on in the Tower Theatre Company’s building even though theatre activities are still suspended. The lift shaft is now complete, the actual lift has been delivered to site and is currently being assembled. 

Work also continues to replace the dressing room roof, and a new sign has been put up over the front entrance.

The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby

Production at the Minack Theatre postponed until next year.

We regret to announce that the Minack Theatre has chosen to cancel their 2020 summer season and as a result the Tower will not be performing there this year.

However we are delighted to announce that we will perform The Great Gatsby at The Minack next summer (performance dates August 30th to September 3rd, 2021).

The next Artistic Team meeting will take place on Sunday 21st June at 4.00 and this is open to anyone to attend via Zoom. A link is available from [email protected].

Building Work Restarts

While the Tower is closed to the public, the building management team has been hard at work making the most of the enforced closure and with lockdown ended for the construction sector, our builders are back at work this week.

The lift shaft is now ready and lift installation is planned to start next week.

And everyone who has ever watched the rain dripping through the dressing room roof or into the stage manager’s room will be glad to know that re-roofing work has started this week.

And as a bonus, there is now hot water in the basement washroom!

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!

Join an Artistic Team Meeting to discuss future plans

In these uncertain times we know many of you will have questions regarding the future.

In 2022, the Tower Theatre celebrates 90 years as one of the leading non-professional theatre companies in the country. It has survived a world war and it will survive this.

When the Tower re-opens – well before it celebrates becoming a nonagenarian – we intend to be bigger, bolder and more beautiful than at anytime in this venerable theatre’s long and impressive history.

And in 2022, we intend to throw it one hell of a birthday party!

In order to give you all an opportunity to address any questions you may have about the future, the Artistic Team’s next meeting, to be held on Sunday 21st June, will be open to anyone who wishes to attend.

We are interested in hearing particularly from current directors, those who have directed for the Tower, or those who wish to direct in the future.

The meeting, to be held on Zoom, will commence at 4.00. To get details of the link to join the meeting, please send an email to the Tower’s Artistic Team

(If you do not have a computer with a camera facility you can join the meeting by audio alone via a computer or mobile phone – details within the link).

Martin Mulgrew

Artistic Director

Extending subscriptions during lockdown

David Taylor, Chair of Management Committee

Dear Members and Friends

During this period of lock-down Members and Friends are unable to receive all the normal benefits of being part of the Tower Theatre.  To compensate for this the Management Committee has agreed that, when we re-open, subscriptions then active will be extended by the duration our building has been closed.

The Tower shut its doors on March 17th and when rehearsals and other things can happen again we will know how long to extend your subscriptions. At that point, all paid-up friends’ and members’ subscriptions will be extended by the relevant period. In due course, when the office is operating again, there will be further contact but I thought you would like to know now that your subscriptions will be extended. Meanwhile, please continue to support the Tower and pay your subscriptions as normal.

When we emerge from lockdown, we will have lost significant revenue from our cancelled productions and will ask members and friends whether they would be prepared to support us by retaining their original renewal dates, rather than opting for the extension.

In the meantime I’d like to thank Ruth Sullivan for the marvellous job she is doing by keeping us all in the picture through the weekly Noises Off and to all those involved in the blogs and virtual play readings which keep the Tower family actively together.

I’m looking forward to us being able to get started again but in the meantime please stay safe and well.

David Taylor
Chair, Management Committee

The long road back

An update on plans for re-opening the building …

As you will have heard, on Sunday the Prime Minister announced that there will be staged lifting of the Covid-19 restrictions with the possibility of the hospitality sector re-opening around July.

We are working to bring the building and the theatre back into use as soon as this can be achieved safely. Our priority remains the safety of our members and others using the building. We will be re-opening the building in phases in line with the Government’s proposed timetable, with theatrical performances to the public being the last phase of the re-opening. We hope very shortly to announce a date upon which limited use of the building, including some rehearsals, may begin. In the meantime the Artistic Team will be consulting with all directors to discuss a proposed timetable. We appreciate your patience. If you have any questions please contact us.

Alexander Knapp (acting Chairman of the Board of Trustees)

David Taylor (Chairman of the Management Committee)

Martin Mulgrew (Artistic Director)