Live performances return to the Tower Theatre

Opening Up – a collection of new pieces

Curated by David Taylor

As we reopen our doors and welcome you back to live theatre, we invite you to come and enjoy our short programme of five new playsWith secrets half hidden and some surprise discoveries, each piece is beautifully presented by Tower actors, telling us stories of other people with their own versions of opening up.

Performances will run from 2nd-5th June; there are a limited number of tickets available so book your tickets now!

Love [and Survival] in a Time of Covid

A mini-festival to reflect on how we’ve survived the past year and celebrate our re-emergence … Planned to take place over three weeks, in a mixture of outdoor and indoor venues, from 25th June-18th July.

We have already received an incredible array of short plays and monologues, plus artwork and workshop plans ranging from puzzles to paper flowers and now the programming fun begins! We will bring you details of what’s on, when as soon as we have it.

We are also thrilled to bring you news of the another venue to complete our trio of festival stages – The Old Church on Church Street, which has recently constructed a beautiful covered outdoor space in Clissold Park. This joins the Arcola Outside in fulfilling our aim of offering performers and audiences the chance to create and view theatre in an outdoor, and therefore highly ventilated, auditorium.

For those of you desperate to get back on the stage, don’t forget to keep the 22nd & 23rd May free for our weekend of auditions! There are plenty of roles to go round so let us know – if you haven’t already done so – if you’d like to attend.

There is still some programming space available in I can’t breathe… an evening dedicated to the black experience in a time of Covid, curated by Landé Belo. More information about this is here.

Covid safety

A small team has been busy preparing our theatre for reopening. Plans were made when there seemed to be an opportunity for live performances last autumn and although the proposals were put on hold, the necessary works to make the theatre safe were put in place. The measures included simple things like placing hand sanitisers in strategic places, buying a thermometer and deciding that plastic tickets would not be issued. More structural things like putting perspex screens around the lighting and sound desks, fitting dividing screens in the dressing room and increasing backstage ventilation, have also been carried out. The theatre itself will be configured to allow audience members to distance themselves which will limit capacity to 50 at each performance – a good reason to book ahead!

Crucial to making our audience and members feel safe will be the procedures put in place by our front of house teams led by Jude Chalk. Their job will be to make sure that social distancing can be maintained and the Smith Studio will be put into use as a social space for pre-show drinks.

Keeping people safe as we welcome them back into the theatre is our top priority.

The Artistic Team said :
It is so exciting to think that after more than a year we can start to use our building again! Virtual Tower has been a great way of keeping us going but the live experience is one that has been missing for too long. We are thrilled to be able to welcome the Tower family back to its home again. See you in June!

Simona, Angharad and Ruth
The Tower Theare’s Artistic Team

Get in touch : [email protected]

Looking Ahead!

Call Out for Directors

With our socially-distanced summer season now starting to take shape the Artistic Direction team is busy planning for Autumn and beyond, when we hope to return to some state of normality. We are therefore seeking pitches from directors and to help with the process, we have designed a new Directors Pitch submission form

Directors are invited to submit pitches for any show at any time.

Minack and Paris 2022

We are looking for submissions for our 2022 Shakespeare tour to Paris. The tour will include a London run in May and a week in Paris, w/c 5th June.

We are also seeking submissions for our 2022 Minack show – the tour will include a London run in July with a week in Cornwall performing w/c 29th August. Special consideration will be given to a play – possibly with music – which features a large ensemble cast. You can find out more about previous productions here

Covid Closure – Subscription Extension

17th March 2021 was the one year anniversary of the day we closed our building due to Covid.

To thank all Friends and Members who have continued to support us throughout this difficult period, everyone who has renewed their subscription between 17th March 2020 and 17th March 2021 will automatically receive a free full year extension.

Two years for the price of one!

For example, if your membership would normally expire in July 2021 it will be extended for free until July 2022.

Due to Covid restrictions, we have been unable to provide our usual range of services to Members and Friends. Last year the Management Committee decided to extend subscriptions (Members and Friends) automatically after lock-down for those who continued to support us.

Here are a couple of examples of how the scheme works:

  • If you paid your annual subscription just after lock down started on 20th March 2020, your expiry date will be 20th March 2022 instead of 20th March 2021 – giving you a free years membership.
  • If you paid your annual subscription just before lockdown started on 15th March 2020 you would have been due to renew on 15th March 2021. If you did renew on 15th March 2021, your membership expiry data was automatically extended from 15th March 2022 to 15th March 2023 – again giving you a free years membership.

This mechanism ensures all members and friends will be treated in exactly the same way and everyone will receive one whole year free subscription irrespective of the point in the year at which they pay their subscriptions.

We are grateful for all the support we have received and if anyone wishes to pay as usual between 17th March 2021 and 17th March 2022, we will gratefully receive the subscription as a donation.

A new project : “Love [and Survival] in a Time of Covid” : more information

More information is now available about plans for the Tower’s exciting new project for a planned mini-festival as soon as the theatre reopens.

It’s an opportunity for Tower Members and Friends, and the local community, to share and celebrate the stories and conversations of our lives over the past year.

Find out all about it here.

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