The next Tower Theatre AGM will take place on Tuesday 12th January 2021 via Zoom. This was delayed from last autumn in the hope that if we waited we might be able to hold the meeting in person in the theatre, government restrictions having been lifted. Unfortunately, this is unlikely to be possible and in order to meet the statutory requirement to hold an AGM within 15 months of the last one we will be going ahead in January with a Zoom meeting.
Company members will receive the usual formal Notice and papers no later than mid-December together with joining instructions. Although we usually invite Friends to attend, though not vote, due to the constraints of Zoom we will not be able to do that this year. We will however record the meeting and make it and a full report of proceedings available to all Members and Friends after the meeting has taken place.
This year, due to a number of retirements, there will be up to five vacancies on the Board and up to six vacancies on the Management Committee. At this important time when we are making all the preparations we can to re-open the theatre and once again enjoy a full range of activities in our own building it is hoped that a number of you may feel able to stand for one of these vacancies. You can see who is currently on the Board and Management Committee here and here.
If you want to know about what is involved I will be happy to tell you more, as will David Taylor (current Chair of the Management Committee), or any other current office-holder.
Helena Cashmore Chair – Tavistock Repertory Guarantors Limited
After seven years on the Artistic Team, including four as Artistic Director, Martin Mulgrew will be stepping down from the post at the AGM in January.
Martin 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 (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. The Management Committee will be starting a search for his successor. Watch this space for further announcements in due course.”
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)
We’re currently working hard behind the scenes to make Tower ‘Covid-safe’ so we can resume live performances as soon as possible. In the meantime, we want to make good use of this ‘down’ time to take stock of who we are right now as a company, and how we can better serve our members and our local community in the years ahead. To set the ball rolling, we’ve compiled a short online survey, which should take no more than 5 minutes to complete. All responses will be anonymous and participation is voluntary.
Our goal is to build a clearer picture of our membership demographic and to identify where we need to work harder at providing opportunities for members to participate. As we enter into the uncharted waters of this new Covid era, your feedback on what we can do to serve you better is invaluable.
Please help us to help you get the most out of your Tower membership by completing the survey HERE.
Welcome to Roxanne Cavanagh who has taken over from Ruth Sullivan as editor of the Tower’s newsletter, “Noises Off”.
Roxanne has been involved with the Tower for a couple of years, as Assistant Stage Manager on The Thrill of Love in 2019 and currently as Assistant Stage Manager on Mules. She’s also performed in two Virtual Tower shows. Roxanne works as a Marketing Manager for a university. In her spare time she is a front of house volunteer at Southwark Playhouse, and also enjoys acting, writing and improv.
Roxanne welcomes contributions about any aspect of the Tower’s activities – contact her by email.
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
The car park at the rear of the Tower Theatre has now been sold and we have new neighbours – Artform, which carries out high quality medium sized developments, has purchased the site and has started construction. 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.
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!