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.

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.”

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 …

GOOD NEWS!
A grant application to the Theatre Reopening Fund, administered by the Theatres Trust, was successful. This means that we have been able to 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) as soon as we are permitted to do so.

Watch this space!

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!

Building Work Completed

While the theatre is closed, we were able to press ahead with several building projects, which are now complete.

  • The lift is now installed and working.
  • 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
  • The top flight of the main staircase up to the theatre has been rebuilt to make it wider.  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

Video of the Q & A session about “Sweat”

A Question and Answer session chaired by the director of “Sweat”, Ian Hoare, with Dr Nicole King (who lectures in American Literature & Culture at Goldsmith College, University of London) and Dr Theresa Saxon, (a founder member of the Institute for Black Atlantic Research at the University of Lancashire).

London Live interview about “Sweat”

London Live ran an item about the Tower Theatre’s production of Sweat on 25th February 2020. See the interview with director Ian Hoare and actors Landé Belo and Julie Arrowsmith here.

Still from London Live interview with  Ian Hoare, Lande Belo and Julie Arrowsmith