Board Chairman Helena Cashmore introduces proceedings
There was a large turn-out of members at St Stephen's Church on October 19th for the Company's Annual General Meeting. Here's summary of what took place ...
- Nick Insley (Finance Director) reported that the Company's finances were in good shape.
- The profit and loss on the day-to-day operations had improved - although there was an overall loss of about £16k, this was lower than in recent years. This was achieved by large profits from both the Minack and the Paris tours, and a steady increase in the average attendance at performances in London (up from 56 to 65 per performance).
- We had also received a generous bequest from the estate of Brenda Burkill.
- Nick proposed the motion to reappoint Stephen Foster of Maurice J Bushell as the Independent Examiner of the Company's accounts, and this was approved nem con.
Artistic Director Martin Mulgrew presents his report
Artistic Director's Report
- Martin Mulgrew congratulated everyone on the excellent shows in the last year. He noted the increase in average audience figures, with more shows playing to sell out audiences.
- He underlined the effect of Social Media in generating sales, and the importance of reviews - we had 4 star reviews for many of our shows. The Marketing Team was thanked for its work in promoting both the Company as a whole and individual productions.
- For 2018, there has been a recent change of plan for the Paris tour : Emmeline Winterbotham would now be directing The Winter's Tale.
- Looking further ahead, the Artistic Team was exploring other venues in the U.K. that the Company might visit in years when we
do not have a slot at the Minack Theatre. Another tour to Edinburgh is also a possibility, as is a return visit to the U.S. in the longer term.
Sarah Ambrose and David Taylor
- Sarah Ambrose updated the meeting on the activity over the last year working towards the acquisition of Sunstone House in Stoke Newington.
- The Board had formed a "Sunstone Team" (Sarah Ambrose, Stephen Ley, Nick Insley, David Taylor, Helena Cashmore and Nicola Stanhope) to move the project forward. Financial negotiations with the owner of the building have arrived at a price, which was acceptable both to the vendor and to our Board.
- Our Business Plan covers the purchase of the freehold and the rear right of way but also give us a realistic amount to do all immediate necessary work with a sizeable buffer to help us through our first formative years in our new home. The Plan has been reviewed by an independent firm of Accountants to ensure that everything is in order.
- Architect Suzie Bridges, with considerable support from David Taylor, has developed design plans for our occupation of the building.
- Local groups and residents in Stoke Newington have been very supportive of our proposed move We have also had extremely positive articles in the local press (thanks to the hard work and contacts of the irrepressible Joyce Terry) as well as useful support from the Theatres Trust.
- Our application for a Licence was successful and we now await the outcome of our Planning Application for change of use to a Theatre, and this is expected imminently. If that goes through smoothly, we can make the actual purchase and could possibly be the new owners by the end of the year
- David Taylor played the meeting a short video exploring the building, and presented initial plans showing how the space
might be allocated to accommodate the Company's activities.
Celia Reynolds announces the 150 Club winners
Elections to the Board and to the Management Committee
- There were up to four vacancies on the Board of Trustees, and two nominations : David Holyoake and Jonathan Wober. These two candidates were elected unopposed.
- There were up to seven vacancies on the Management Committee, and six nominations : Chris Holmes, Jean Carr, Jude Chalk, Louise Bakker, Stephen Ley and David Taylor. These six candidates were elected unopposed.
- Board Chairman Helena Cashmore thanked the two Board Members stepping down this year : Ian Grant and David Taylor.
- Harry Reeder thanked those members of the Management Committee leaving : Sarah Ambrose, Nicola Stanhope, and Lotte Wynder.
Helena thanked Harry who is himself stepping down as Chairman of the Management Committee after a three-year term.
150 Club results
- The winners of the October monthly prizes and the major annual prizes for the 150 Club were announced.
Presentations and awards
- The Frank Smith Award was presented to Angharad Ormond, and the Harold Mellor Award to Nick Insley.
- Harry Reeder thanked the Company Officers stepping down for their contributions, and welcomed new appointments :