LDS Notice Board

I am very pleased to tell you that the City Mayor has signed the decision to sell the Anchor Club to us for £1 (subject to us raising the funds to build the studio theatre part of the total scheme). They will also demolish the current building so we start with a clean, level site. The full details of the decision have been published and can be seen as below:

To see the publicly available information, follow the link: Details on public web site

There is now a 7 day opportunity for council members to call in the decision before it is confirmed – so there is still a risk for this period. However, all being well, we intend to authorise submission of our planning application as soon as this 7 day period has passed.

Thank you all for your support through this process so far – now we need to make sure we turn this opportunity into reality!

Very Best Wishes
Jenny Harding

Marketing

The marketing team continues to be very busy. The new brochure has now gone to print and should be distributed around the opening on Panto.

After long service, Mo Carberry has decided to relinquish her responsibilities as Programme editor for the main LDS shows. We are very grateful for all she has done in that area. Mo’s focus on other things in our Society, leaves us with another gap in our portfolio. Programmes for the LDS shows make a loss of several hundreds of pounds every season and we need to find some new ways of doing things and possibly a new programme format. We must deliver 2 more programmes in the existing format as we have pre-sold many of them to customers already. We have also undertaken to place advertising in them for our commercial partners.
If anyone has aspirations to compile and edit our show programmes then we would love to hear from you.

Maintaining our posters inside and outside our building may sound a trivial task, but it requires doing at the right time to keep things up to date. Michael Hughes managed them for a while but the job requires a physical agility that is no longer comfortable. Suzy Thomas, our youngest team member, took the work on for a few months but has had to stop as it is not compatible with final year degree studies alongside a paying job. We therefore are looking for someone to pick up this task please and anyone interested would be most welcome.

Social media and the digital world are recognised as the best routes to get to our potential and current customers. Our data clearly shows that increasing numbers of people book at the last minute over the Internet. The bookings at the beginning of the season are driven by the brochure, but we believe that the last minute ones are based on what customers find on-line. To maximise this potential market we need our membership who are active in Social Media to help us. A single point of information like the theatre’s public Facebook infrastructure can only go so far. We need as many members as possible to interact with Social Media on our behalf, and in a really positive way.

Our competitive situation is getting tougher. The re-opening of the Haymarket means that Mother Goose is now competing with Curve, De Montfort Hall and the Haymarket for the Christmas audience. A recent report from the City Council lists us one of 4 Main Leicester performing venues, after Curve and De Montfort. When we explore the report in more detail, it is clear that we are not alone in finding ticket sales challenging. Indeed, our ticket sales, as a percentage of capacity, are far ahead of our competitors although we know that our houses are not as full as we wish for either our performers and teams, or our finances.

We can always do better, and with your help, we will. Please offer your support. You can contact the marketing team through the office or end an e-mail to me at: martin.hardingscotts@ntlworld.com

AUDITION NOTICE FOR ‘JANE EYRE’  29 APRIL – 4 MAY 2019 – MAIN HOUSE PRODUCTION
AUDITION DATES – TUE 8 & WED 9 JANUARY AT 7:30PM STUDIO, LITTLE THEATRE

This thrilling and inventive adaption of Charlotte Bronte’s classic novel was first staged by Shared Experience theatre company, and is based around the concept of having Jane’s inner emotional  life represented by the presence and actions of Bertha Rochester – Mr Rochester’s first wife, who is held in secret in his home, Thornfield Hall, due to her mental instability.

Shared Experience are renowned for working in an Expressionist theatrical style, and this production requires a skilful, imaginative, and flexible company to bring the play to life.  I am looking to cast an acting company of 10 , only 3 of which will play one role; the remaining 7 actors will play at least 2 speaking roles, offering opportunities for contrasting characterisation. For the benefit of the audition process, each actor’s main role is outlined below, along with the age range of the actors I am looking for:

Jane Eyre – after an unhappy childhood, Jane becomes a governess at Thornfield Hall, where she falls deeply in love with Mr Rochester. This is a very demanding role, as the actor is in every scene, and has to portray a wide range of emotions. She works very closely with the actor playing Bertha. Age range: 20s

Bertha Rochester – very little dialogue, but the actor is on stage for the entire play and she needs to show at times, uninhibited emotional responses to events. It requires an actor experienced in the use of expressive physical movement, so a background in contemporary dance would be helpful. Age range: 20s – 40s.

Mrs Fairfax – kindly housekeeper at Thornfield Hall, she befriends Jane, but is unaware of the secrets of her heart. The actor will also play Mrs Reed, Jane’s uncaring aunt. Age range: 40s – 50s

Adele – the young french ward of Rochester, she loves pretty things, and the attention of others. She is a young girl, and the actor will also play Helen Burns, Jane’s ill-fated childhood friend, and the adult role of Mary Rivers. Age range: late teens – 20s

Grace Poole – Bertha’s warder, rather surly and has little dialogue, but is in quite a number of scenes. The actor will also play Bessie, a servant in her aunt’s house.  Age range: 30s – 50s

Blanche Ingram – spoilt, haughty and beautiful, she has her eyes on Rochester as a future husband. The actor will also play Diana Rivers, the kindly sister of St John, and Abigail, a servant of Mrs Reed. Age range: 20s – 30s

Mr Rochester – a man of intense feelings who is haunted by his past actions, he falls passionately in love with Jane.He requires great physical presence, and the ability to be both intimidating and vulnerable. Age range: 30s – 40s

St John Rivers – earnest and austere clergyman, who takes in Jane when she runs away from  Rochester. The actor will also play Pilot, Rochester’s dog, and so some experience in physical theatre, mime, or dance may be helpful. Age range: 20s – 30s

Mr Brocklehurst – severe and sanctimonious owner of the school which Jane attends as a child. The actor will also play Lord Ingram, Blanche’s indulgent father, and the clergyman conducting Jane and Rochester’s ill-fated wedding service. Age range: 40s – 60s

Richard Mason – well-meaning brother of Bertha, he travels from his native home in the West Indies to Thornfield Hall to see his sister, and to play a significant part in the wedding day of Jane and Rochester. The actor will also play Jane’s bullying childhood cousin John Reed, and in one scene, Rochester’s horse!  Age range: 30s – 40s

There are other parts which have a few lines of dialogue in different scenes. These will be played by members of the acting company, with the exception of the 3 main protagonists – namely, Jane, Bertha and Rochester.

PARTS ARE OPEN TO ALL MEMBERS – please do try and read the play before the auditions, which will also involve some physical activity ( scripts available from the theatre’s office). 
I hope to start rehearsals the end of February, and this will include Sunday afternoon rehearsals.  It is worth noting that the final week of rehearsals will take place during Easter Bank Holiday week, as Easter Day falls on 21 April.

Should you have any queries, please don’t hesitate to contact me on 07591 219230 or at joanne3662@btinternet.com

Jo Jones

DEATH OF A SALESMAN

Arthur Miller’s classic drama

Production dates: 20-25th May 2019

Rehearsals commence late March

EARLY NOTICE – AUDITION!

This wonderful play, arguably one of the finest American plays of the 20th Century, offers a wide selection of roles, all of which require a believable American accent. It is essential that you read the play in order to get a good understanding of character before the audition. Scripts are available on short-term loan from the theatre office on payment of a deposit. I will be happy to hear of your interest on:

Wednesday 30th January 2019 @ 7.30pm

John Ghent – Director
j.ghent38@btinternet.com
07703 764 800

DAYTIME DRAMA WORKSHOPS

Working in drama is a wonderful way to make new friends and socialise with like-minded people, and who knows, it might lead to a whole new career.

I am wondering if there are any members, now retired or no longer working, who might be interested in daytime drama workshops to be led by David Cross, who currently also leads the Thursday Workshop sessions and has a great deal of experience in teaching drama.

It’s intended that the workshops will last for two hours per session and take place on the theatre premises. The precise time has not yet been decided.

Please let me know, via the Theatre Office, of your interest.

This is a members only activity, and there will be no charge.

John Ghent
Trustee for Productions

PANTO CREW CALL-OUT!

Are you interested in getting involved in backstage work for this year’s Little Theatre pantomime, ‘Mother Goose’?

We are currently looking for volunteers to help out between 14/12/18 and 06/01/19 (show dates are here: https://www.thelittletheatre.net/whats-on/mother-goose/#book-tickets)

All that is required is a willingness to get involved. Training and assistance can be provided if needed. Existing and prospective members are all welcome.

Email: contact@ldsbackstage.co.uk and we’ll get you involved, even if you can only do one or two shows.