BNC Text D91

Harlow Playhouse public meeting. Sample containing about 16811 words speech recorded in public context

11 speakers recorded by respondent number C3

D91PS000 X u (No name, age unknown) unspecified
D91PS001 X u (No name, age unknown) unspecified
D91PS002 X u (No name, age unknown) unspecified
D91PS003 X u (No name, age unknown) unspecified
D91PS004 X u (No name, age unknown) unspecified
D91PS005 X u (No name, age unknown) unspecified
D91PS006 X u (No name, age unknown) unspecified
D91PS007 X u (No name, age unknown) unspecified
D91PS008 X u (No name, age unknown) unspecified
D91PSUNK (respondent W0000) X u (Unknown speaker, age unknown) other
D91PSUGP (respondent W000M) X u (Group of unknown speakers, age unknown) other

1 recordings

  1. Tape 008001 recorded on 1991-09-02. LocationEssex: Harlow ( Playhouse theatre ) Activity: public meeting

Undivided text

(D91PS000) [1] Okay if I could say good evening and welcome to the theatre this evening the reason the meeting has been convened this evening quite clearly is part of the process and art structure for Harlow having undertaken by the Council, the Playhouse is keen as it says quite clearly on the leaflet is to to get the publics view on how best to plan this programme and it's, and facilities for the future.
[2] It has been some debate er on the board and the management committee about the direction the theatre should be going into the nineteenth century twentieth century [laugh] and I think and I and I think it's important that this meeting hopefully will be very constructive in the sense that is important that the theatre actually gets the views of people use the building, and people actually come along and support the [...] of the theatre.
[3] So I hope hopefully this evening will be a very constructive meeting and we'll certainly welcome your views about what you feel should be happening to the theatre or should be taken or should be taken place at the theatre, what should be on at the theatre, and er things that you feel that aren't happening at the moment.
[4] We did if I can give some background we did actually target er twelve thousand, five hundred mailer shots for this meeting this evening I'm not sure what the people here are representing percentage for that and we also targeted over about a hundred organisations with mailing shots telling people the meetings on this evening.
[5] In my concern as Chairman of the Board was that er if very few people turned up then perhaps people might say that we didn't go around go about advertising it in the correct way what I think we actually did I'm not sure how many people are here this evening, but I should think it's somewhere in the region of about hundred and, hundred and fifty, so I hope that the meeting this evening sort of cross representation people actually use facilities which the playhouse offers.
[6] Can I just introduce people on the platform to you this evening.
[7] My na mes Tom and I'm chairman of the trust, have Roy [...] who is chairman of the management committee, Ron is vice who who who's vice chair of the board, Gordon I'm sure everyone knows is the general manager and John who is the company's secretary.
[8] There have been some hand outs as you come in hopefully you've actually picked them up, on part of that hand out is a questionnaire towards the end which I hope everybody will find the time to fill in.
[9] There's no need to put your name and address if you er choose not to do but I think we will actually value your your views on that questionnaire and certainly use those views in the coming months.
[10] So if I can open the meeting by saying that we obviously welcome questions this evening and points of view and I would like to open the meeting by asking quite clearly about how you er see best plan for the theat theatre in future and how it's programme of facilities for the future should be programmed and planned.
(D91PS001) [11] Er Mr Chairman just a a point for clarification the about the [...] .
[12] When the previous meeting took place with the consultants.
(D91PS000) [13] Yes.
(D91PS001) [14] I rather got the impression that they would take him er, er, continue interest in what would happen, I've got the impression they have a representative here to give their view of how it was er
(D91PS000) [15] This, I think the Counc the Council commissioned the partnership report and I
(D91PS001) [16] right yes
(D91PS000) [17] think the Council had a time meeting to actually discuss that report with, with
(D91PS001) [18] yeah right yeah
(D91PS000) [19] the public.
[20] I think from that report there was a there was a requirement or request that perhaps the theatre should actually have a public meeting to talk about which way the theatre was going what things were going on at the theatre and that's what the meeting is for this evening.
(D91PS001) [21] Yeah but I thought they.
(D91PS000) [22] The meeting sorry the meeting this evening is quite clearly is to talk about get your views on how best to plan the programmes for the facilities for the future.
(D91PS001) [23] Yes but if there is I thought if one of their representatives was gonna be here just to answer questions about their views
(D91PS000) [24] no no no
(D91PS001) [25] Don't you think that'd be useful
(D91PS000) [26] Sorry.
(D91PS001) [27] Don't you think that'd be useful
(D91PS000) [28] No I think this is board meeting and as a board I think were interested to get your points of view what isn't taken place that you'd liked to take place and what you'd like to see in the future well and that's why the meetings been convened.
(D91PS001) [29] Yes you do have four other colleagues on the side.
(D91PS000) [30] Because their also board members.
(D91PS001) [31] Oh I see Okay.
(D91PS000) [32] Okay.
[33] Thank you.
[34] [...] . Can I just ask the other question perhaps which is relevant when people do make a contribution if they actually identify themselves so that may be useful if actually know who people are representing themselves or representing an organisation.
(D91PS002) [35] Chair my name's Pete from Partnership's I'm here as a member of the public I'm not here to speak on behalf of the theatre at all.
[36] I might have something to say later on in the meeting but I thought that people should be aware that there is a continuing interest from Partnership's in the abundance of an art structure within Harlow and I I am here taking notes of people's comments thank you.
(D91PS000) [37] Thank you.
[38] Okay.
[39] Can we get into the meeting?
[40] Sorry go on sorry go on.
(D91PS003) [41] I'd like to start off by saying I I [...] .
(D91PS000) [42] Could I have your name please?
[43] Sorry.
(D91PS003) [44] Yes Kenneth er er I've just finished managing Relate.
[45] I think I [...] I just represent myself.
[46] I I've been coming here for forty years so far and and provocative statement I think in your programme this Autumn is the best that you've had for years it's a very good combination of classical and and modern plays and I really congratulate you on this programme and I would like to see that standard maintained.
(D91PS000) [47] Well thank you for that that's a very good start to the evening.
[48] [laugh] . Thank you.
(D91PS004) [49] Jan erm I've just recently started a job as a drama teacher and I must say there isn't actually anything in the programme that's actually on my A level syllabus for drama and I think it might be something er it a help to schools if maybe there was a play put on specifically schools to come and see I think to comment on. [...] .
(D91PS000) [50] I just say that I'm sorry go on don't want to be dejective this evening but I mean minutes will be taken notes will be taken points have been raised I think that's a very valuable point that you've actually have raised.
(D91PS005) [51] Can we can we can we find out from the teacher whether in fact the school actually gets a a our information leaflet.
(D91PS004) [52] Ehm is a it isn't actually a a erm a new school it's Birchwood High School it used to be Margaret Dane which has been established a few years but Birchwood just been started for a year erm it has is some information but obviously there haven't been any feedback from the school so I [...] starts there.
(D91PS006) [53] Chair can you ask people to speak up.
[54] A lot of people have very soft voices.
(D91PS007) [55] You haven't Bill
(D91PS000) [56] John .
[57] I wanna put this er question of what this playhouse is about a back to to to a stage to to the platform because I think that's where it belongs er were here to criticize but not to initiate.
[58] Er many of us remember Gordon in the sixties working with a small group to get this place built thirty years on does he feel the playhouse is doing what he then hoped for and if not what are the things that have changed it?
(D91PS008) [59] None but it's thirty years on.
Unknown speaker (D91PSUNK) [60] [...] .
[61] I'm one of the original directors of the theatre and er Mr Chairman what worries me is this.
[62] I think we have to face facts, first fact is the the priority of the board must at this time be survival.
[63] Financial survival.
[64] Er if you couple that with the action of Eastern Arts who I understand have cut the subsidy er for this er theatre I think that's correct, erm, as I understand on the grounds that a not enough they mean imaginative or progressive which to me means weird play to put on [laugh] .
[65] Er couple the two together they don't really make sense because this type of experimental theatre never pays, can't pay.
[66] Er in my opinion at this particular time we must bear in mind the financial constraints that we work under and er would the board agree with me that erm survival comes first yes but it's obvious that the programme that we've er had put forward is a good compromise between preferred in the arts, maintaining the theatre as a viable proposition and er entertaining the people of this particular part of the world because as I understand it this theatre was not just the artist also an entertainment centre and it's in this area that er it's quite obvious when you look into the figures on this area the popular area that the majority income comes so you'll have to make a compromise and I will congratulate the board on what I think is pretty reasonable compromise so it's quite obvious in the programme.
(D91PS000) [67] [...] at the back I can't.
(D91PS000) [68] Tom I'm just a punter represent nobody.
[69] I come to theatre regularly I agree with my friend over there I think you have a very good programme quite mixed not all my taste but it's it's representative of the tastes of the people who want to come.
[70] Unfortunately with got to get some of those people who don't want to come and it's all about bums on seats it's the old old saying bums on seats we've got to get an answer how we don't get to these [...] here at the moment in the audience whether they are people who want to get bums on seats or how they know how to do it perhaps they should have a meeting like this every month [...] I've never seen so many of [...] .
[71] [laugh] . [...] . I'll give you my fee later.
[72] Seriously though we've got to get people into this theatre on a more regular basis.
[73] A few years ago I saw a couple of Eastenders stars come in erm [...] and Ross whatever his name forget his name there were two young girls standing in front of me scraping pennies out of their purse to get in though we loved that character they wanted to come that night we've got to get girls like that youngsters like that interested to come on other nights and then come again that's what needs doing. [...] .
(D91PS001) [74] Keith .
[75] Erm representing myself.
[76] I think I agree with the gentleman over there I think the youth of this particular town who on average spends somewhere in the region of fifteen and twenty pounds a week going to Highwire and going to pubs erm you need the attraction to the theatre.
[77] How that's done I don't know how do we reach these people there's a broad sheet that goes to the school's am I right Jan?
(D91PS004) [78] I wouldn't know actually Keith at the moment.
[79] I'm sure there is though.
Unknown speaker (D91PSUNK) [80] Yes there is to all of them.
(D91PS001) [81] Erm can I ask how that's funded first of all is that funded through is that funded through the council.
(D91PS000) [82] It's currently funded chair by er B P and we're very grateful for them.
(D91PS001) [83] Okay is that do we know if that funding is going to continue? [...] .
(D91PS000) [84] Perhaps we sort through this original question we can pick up on that.
(D91PS001) [85] Okay.
(D91PS000) [86] [...] about how many copies where they've actually gone that that is some that is sent out to all school's and quite considerable numbers are sent out.
[87] What's the actual figures on that Gordon
(D91PS008) [88] Published three times a year and a thousand copies and distributed to all school's within a very wide area through the Education Authority.
(D91PS001) [89] Do we get a feedback from school's at all?
(D91PS008) [90] Yes, We do quite considerably through the [...] .
(D91PS001) [91] And and that I presume that the feedback is analyzed and decided from maybe as to the content of what goes on in studio and also on the main stage.
(D91PS008) [92] [...] sort of a sort of er points Jan made.
[93] Really it would be nice of we to have A level plays so A level student could come and see.
(D91PS001) [94] But that has been in the past and that was a thing that we had for several years had A level plays actually on the stage am I correct?
[95] I think I am.
(D91PS008) [96] I'm sorry I can't erm.
(D91PS001) [97] As far as the as far as A level as far as A level plays are concerned I think with had them on the stage before now over the last five ten years as far as I'm concerned.
(D91PS008) [98] One of the problems is of course is finding the product available.
(D91PS001) [99] Do you not got to the school's for suggestions?
(D91PS008) [100] Well yes of course.
(D91PS001) [101] You do?
(D91PS008) [102] We know what we know what plays [...] .
(D91PS002) [103] Mike just a point of information I have been teaching in Harlow for twenty years and I've never been asked by anybody at the playhouse what play's who's like to see in my school.
(D91PS003) [104] My name is Pamela .
[105] We used to come to the theatre once a week but since the demise of the money saver two for the price of one scheme with only come really twice a season.
[106] I think it's great shame that were not able to come more often now but I don't think that the replacement scheme is really a replacement cos it relies on you getting the most expensive seats I would rather see lots of things cheaply rather than just one or two things more expensively it also doesn't include studio theatre many of the productions I think are excellent and there's no advantage there.
Unknown speaker (D91PSUNK) [107] Here here [...] . [clapping] .
(D91PS004) [108] Paul erm involved in a number of erm in a number of amateur companies apparently working as a casual member of staff.
[109] I have one question which relates to the article double page article in this weeks Harlow Star.
[110] Er that is that at least three of the articles are talking to quoting different organisations er suggested that the playhouse theatre trust had been recommended to do something about their marketing er a at least two years ago if not longer ago erm certainly it's my knowledge er they have not employed specialists to that they have not employed a specialist to that indeed since the last er appointed publicity officer left, that person that post has not been er refilled er could I ask the theatre trust why they have chosen not taken that recommendation seriously?
(D91PS000) [111] I think as far as market is concerned we have sort of taken certain steps as far as the marketing is I mean the computerisation of ticket system gives us a much greater insight on marketing now cos you can actually see what people come to see and we can by the ticket that's actually sold and we can actually target people direct.
[112] And I think that the last year has actually improved the attendance at the theatre because [...] do that.
[113] As far as employment of the ma marketing consultant or marketing persons concerned the actual costing of that has worked out something like between six sixteen and twenty thousand pounds now we've gone through a very difficult financial stage like many other organisations and many other theatres.
[114] At particular market in time whilst we agree as the board that we should employ someone and we intend to employ someone we just think at this particular moment in time it is very difficult for us to actually raise that sort of money on a regular basis.
[115] As soon as our financial situation has eased we'll certainly employ someone.
[116] But it isn't true to say I'd certainly say it isn't true to say that making the recommendations of our market have been slightly up recommendation in takings.
[117] The one that hasn't been in fact to employ somebody particularly perhaps to go out the market theatre but this particular mark in time it's been very difficult for a theatre to actually find twenty thousand this financial year in fact we had to find seventy thousand pound cuts, that was a very difficult exercise so the answer to your question is we accept that recommendation and as soon as the finance is available we intend to employ somebody to take on that task.
(D91PS004) [118] Is now [...] .
(D91PS000) [119] Well if it's a question yeah yeah.
(D91PS004) [120] Yeah erm, the reason I want to follow it up is because would you not agree er with a number of major companies in this country and in a time of recession rather than cutting back on your marketing and advertising you should in fact be increasing it in fact when the marketing
(D91PS000) [121] But when
(D91PS004) [122] manager should be [...] be a major priority.
(D91PS000) [123] Well that's what Breeze am keep telling me when I got to work in the morning it's about the time of recession people should advertise more not less that maybe but the hard financial situation of the theatre finds itself in is to find that sort of money is very difficult at the moment.
[124] We're not saying we can't we we we're against proposal we've had to take on the market person but until that finance situation is eased it's extremely difficult.
(D91PS004) [125] Surely the point when you have no money to employ a marketing manager you won't need to employ one.
(D91PS000) [126] I think there is a need for a marketing person. [laugh] [clapping] .
(D91PS002) [127] Question directly relating to that point though is it not true that the Eastern Arts withdrawal of the ten thousand pound grant last year was directly related to criticisms made in both in the nineteen eighty six appraisal and subsequently and repeated both to The Star recently what with was that the marketing of the playhouse was drastically inadequate.
(D91PS000) [128] No.
(D91PS002) [129] Had you not improved your marketing is another sporting chance you've got your ten thousand pounds grant.
(D91PS000) [130] No.
(D91PS002) [131] Do you know why you lost the Eastern Arts drama?
(D91PS000) [132] No.
(D91PS002) [133] How is it then I put it this way .
(D91PS000) [134] [...] I'm sorry look I.
(D91PS002) [135] How is it that you don't know and in your letter to me you said this trust did not know where that money had been withdrawn at the same time Andrew director of Eastern Arts was quite happy to write to me to tell me why he was quite happy to tell the press over the phone why how is it the trust didn't know?
(D91PS000) [136] Well it would be very nice if Andrew actually wrote to the trust to tell them why in same details as he apparently told the press.
(D91PS002) [137] Can I ask therefore why the Eastern Arts of appraisal report of nineteen eighty-six a major appraisal costing a huge amount of Eastern Arts money was not considered and and presented across.
(D91PS000) [138] The Eastern Arts report of nineteen eighty six was never completed what the Eastern Arts did in actual fact was to produce a draft report and promised that the final report would be complete and circulate it as to date which is nineteen ninety-one we have not received the final report of the Eastern Arts appraisal.
(D91PS002) [139] That isn't their story.
(D91PS006) [140] Question question.
(D91PS000) [141] Well it may not be their story but that's the fact.
(D91PS001) [142] [...] can I can I ask the funding of the playhouse.
(D91PS000) [143] Certainly.
(D91PS001) [144] Can I ask over the last six seven years what local companies have funded the playhouse and to what level? and how many of actually withdrawn and the reasons why they actually withdrawn?
(D91PS000) [145] I don't think the theatre's ever been endowed with a great deal of fundings but one or two companies in the town that have been prepared to fund obviously the one that strikes me is Gilbey's cos the Gilbey bar I mean that was funded and like they've been over the years they have given money even fact as a sad note cos Gilbey's have actually demised now erm General Portfolio have actually taken on the role in Harlow of funding many things if you actually look all most things that have sponsored until recently have been sponsored by General Portfolio so they've been to the fore in er fundering funding.
[146] The the trust has actually approached several Council's in the area not just Harlow Council obviously but many many other Councils and I think there was only one other Council that provided some funding and that was something like two hundred and fifty pounds was offered at one time I think that's ceased now so there is no other Council although although it'd be interesting tonight although fifty per cent of the people who actually use this facility actually come from outside the town but there's no funding directly or indirectly from any other Council so my knowledge would be if you exclude B P exclude General Portfolio perhaps I'm doing other companies a disservice I can't think of any other major company in town that's actually provided but Gordon can you think of.
(D91PS008) [147] Lloyds Bank.
(D91PS000) [148] Lloyds.
(D91PS008) [149] General Portfolio B P Pitney Bowes over the years have from time to time provided us with funding
(D91PS001) [150] Is it simply been financial restraint by all those companies that that there isn't [...] .
(D91PS000) [151] Yeah their their funding tends to be they'll they'll fund something like a production or they'll say at [...] you know if you put our name up were give you so much or General Portfolio perhaps will will fund a particular show or a series of show's or say were prepared to put a thousand pounds could you name six shows and we'll put our name on those show's when they're advertised but no company or other Council's actually prepared to come along and say were prepared to put money on a regular basis.
(D91PS001) [152] Have you approached these companies?
(D91PS000) [153] Yes we've approached on a regular basis we've we approach [...]
(D91PS000) [154] Yeah I mean me I it may be inappropriate at this moment in time to say we will do it now because of obvious reasons but prior to the recession it was an ongoing thing that the the board were in through the general manager were actually writing to many companies.
[155] I mean Cossor's er actually have provided funding in the past.
(D91PS001) [156] Hm hm.
(D91PS000) [157] Eh and perhaps were one of the major funders in the past I say General Portfolio until recently were the major funders er in the in the ninety ninety one but there's been no company that's been funding the theatre on a regular basis.
(D91PS001) [158] Ehm what facilities would you actually give er on a broad spectrum so these companies that might want to fund the playhouse apart from the normal free tickets? [...]
(D91PS001) [159] Could you could you could you foresee the General Portfolio Portfolio bar?
(D91PS008) [160] I not the Gilbey bar?
(D91PS000) [161] We got the Gilbey bar but I no the answer to that question would be if any company or org organisation was prepared or wished to talk about funding the theatre in any way and I think were'd be more than welcome to sit down with and talk them and say well how would you perceive that which way would you like to go about it how can we assist that and I think we're be open to suggestions from them how they see it I mean you know it could be seats it could be programmes it could be any any arrange of things that we'd certainly welcome who approach us from companies but we I think we are pro-active in sense that we don't wait for that to happen we actually go out but was said early I think given the recession it has been difficult lately to actually go out to companies and say I mean sure companies like the Harlow Council find it extremely finance the finances extremely difficult on them and with the recession it's really difficult for them to actually find funding and I know lot's of companies who actually cutting back on it certain areas I think funding of oth outside organisations will be one of the areas they'll be cutting back on.
Unknown speaker (D91PSUNK) [162] So Mr Chairman sorry to bring it up again but er I think it's in line what this gentleman said er bearing in mind I think it is a fact that this is a reasonable theatre enjoyed by people from a very large catchment area could you please tell us what support the the er playhouse has had from the local authorities adjacent to Harlow.
[163] In my opinion they're they're pitiful.
(D91PS000) [164] Nothing well we've no [...] .
(D91PS008) [165] Twenty five pounds from Braughing District council in nineteen seventy two. [laugh] .
(D91PS000) [166] I'm sorry I put a nought I thought it was two hundred and fifty but I'm advised it was twenty five .
Unknown speaker (D91PSUNK) [167] I I I hope I hope er Mr Chairman these facts are brought to the attention of the general public bearing in mind the general public over a large catchment area enjoy the facilities here.
[168] I principally [...] in Harlow who the generous generosity of forsightness of the Council etc I hope these facts are publicised and perhaps shame these people supporting er you know this theatre [...] .
(D91PS000) [169] I think it's also entertainment the excellent wage of services placed on by Harlow Council.
Unknown speaker (D91PSUNK) [170] Yeah.
(D91PS000) [171] And one of one of the things that I've got on a regular basis is the many of the things Harlow Council put on like pop concerts [...] country and western have actually been used by people who who perhaps live outside of Harlow so the Council are now looking at a charging policy but also we should also gonna introduce into the theatre is the leisure card which actually includes that the people actually live in the town local and the reproductional sort of show if they can do so they should buy.
[172] And I think what the Council's got to do and I think what the what the what the theatre perhaps has to do is only make that leisure card more easily acceptable and available and also look upon the reductions that we give but that perhaps is a way of actually rewarding the people in Harlow to use the theatre and the contribution in actually paying for it at the expense of the people coming in from outside who perhaps don't pay anything towards the expense of the theatre.
[173] So a leisure card's been introduced now and will be I hopefully will be expand and give that sort of financial reward to people who live in the town.
[174] Thank you.
(D91PS005) [175] I I think there's another way of looking at that.
(D91PS000) [176] Yeah.
(D91PS005) [177] I actually live in Sawbridgeworth.
(D91PS000) [178] Yeah.
(D91PS005) [179] And I come down here very regularly but my view is we don't get any discount if you like we don't get a leisure card.
(D91PS000) [180] Right.
(D91PS005) [181] And yet it's the people around Harlow were not supporting it what the hell are you going to do then ?
(D91PS000) [182] Fifty per cent of them [...] .
(D91PS005) [183] I mean I know an awful lot of people outside Harlow who who come here but Harlow people could be said to be apathetic or not being marketed rightly.
Unknown speaker (D91PSUNK) [184] [...] .
(D91PS000) [185] I think I mean it was interesting cos someone said earlier about people coming in I mean once you get them in I mean I always feel it's like the pantomime each year which is an amateur pantomime yet the actual people coming in to see that I mean it's well in the ninety per cent 's and you talk to people when they come to see the pantomime and ver invariably the the mum's or dad's say no I don't normally come to theatre but I come to the pantomime and they enjoy it very much and when you talk to them they can say well what you think of it?
[186] Oh it's terrific you know it's a great building I like it I like what's going on and you say will you come back again?
[187] And they say yeah I will but but presumably that tapers off and they don't but it's an interesting thing that on particular when you're targeting certain things like pantomime do get people in I think there's lot's of people said this evening say actually build on that perhaps get those people to come back again so yes I did like it I I did like what I saw there I did like the way that I was treated I did like the whole ambience of the place like I'll definitely come back again will they be viable to do that?
[188] I would hope [...] .
Unknown speaker (D91PSUNK) [189] There's a there's a perfectly example of marketing .
Unknown speaker (D91PSUNK) [190] Marketing .
Unknown speaker (D91PSUNK) [191] You've got a captive audience there why the hell don't you do it a sheet why don't you give them a programme for the next three months exactly what is happening.
[192] That way they won't drift off they will come back.
(D91PS000) [193] We had erm no we we actually had done that we have given questionnaires out as programmes we actually asked people to [...] I mean it'll be interest to see how many people fill it in this evening but there is a built in resistance by some people to actually fill in any sort of questionnaire er and in the past when we've actually done that I think the response's hasn't been that that brilliant.
[194] I'm I'm not not saying it's reasonable [...] .
Unknown speaker (D91PSUNK) [195] So were talking about Harlow people just being apathetic.
(D91PS000) [196] Well I'm not sure I mean it's interest I mean the the Council erm with another [...] the Council looked upon attendances of the things Council do and many people who use the facilities in Harlow will argue we don't get anything like this where we live and we always find it like that you know it's that sort of mentality where people in Harlow may or may not say well course you get it in Harlow we expect it it's just there it just saves we know it's getting them people to use it but I talk to people I'm sure people who live in Harlow or the Council [...] to people and Harlow people tend to think well yes yes it's all with always it's always there.
[197] So I mean it's winning people over because [...] .
Unknown speaker (D91PSUNK) [198] There .
(D91PS005) [199] I think it's fair to say that with this new computer erm the box office that we've got a lot of information can be stored on that and in future we'll be using a much more erm sophisticated in a scientific way for instance if you came here and book that seat that your sitting in tonight we would know on that computer what type of show that your discouraging coming to erm we can say to you we can send you out a leaflet saying the kind of er things that you'd like to see are on at the playhouse on such and such a date and we could even say to you would you like the seat that you normally sit in.
[200] And I think that that is is is.
Unknown speaker (D91PSUNK) [201] Well that's through marketing [...] .
(D91PS008) [202] And were doing it?
(D91PS000) [203] Were doing it were doing it.
Unknown speaker (D91PSUNK) [204] Were doing it when?
(D91PS000) [205] Now doing it now.
(D91PS008) [206] Yes.
(D91PS005) [207] Can I just say something else as well?
[208] I'm sorry erm as far as the schools are concerned you had presumably a lot of contact I mean as part of the national curriculum is if if you like is to build contact with the community and the schools.
[209] Could you not use the drama teachers in those schools to carry out the kind some of this kind of marketing as well.
[210] There's projects with the kids you know get the kids to to work on what they want what they want to see get them to work on their parents and find out you could find out then whether there is [...] or not in Harlow.
(D91PS008) [211] Certainly we er have extensive contacts with almost all the drama teachers in schools in the surrounding area through the amateurs in contact with them all the time.
(D91PS005) [212] And that that shows that it that is true of working .
(D91PS008) [213] And we're getting through that through the through the schools newsletter.
(D91PS005) [214] But it I mean is it is it.
(D91PS008) [215] One of the one of the difficulties is that that that theatres up and down the country have faced over the last two years of the new target [...] that were brought in with the eighty eight education act where schools were not allowed to make a charge it could only be a voluntary contribution now the council of Great Britain have looked at this it's a problem cos of this decimated schools audiences.
[216] For many years we had a well known er.
(D91PS005) [217] School [...] .
(D91PS008) [218] T R E company Molecule theatre which came originally from the Mermaid in [...] They came here two or three times a year for seven or eight years and we use to pack 'em out.
[219] At the moment there isn't even a charging regulations came in the schools immediately cut back because it was a very definite barrier that was put up to prevent schools that prevented schools from from taking up that sort of er offer that they had done in the past and it's a major problem.
(D91PS002) [220] Why therefore have you virtually abandon your students standby scheme.
(D91PS000) [221] Sorry sorry if you sorry if you wish to speak.
(D91PS002) [222] Sorry why therefore have you virtually abandon your students standby scheme?
[223] It's now available for only seven shows out of twenty seven in the next programme and only on the first night of each show and only at a cost of two pounds and these are the audience of tomorrow as I wrote to you Mr you neglect these people at your peril why've you changed the scheme?
(D91PS000) [224] Are you saying you'd like to see that re-introduced?
(D91PS002) [225] What's it why've you change it?
(D91PS000) [226] No is that a question are you saying you'd like to see introduced ?
(D91PS002) [227] Well yes please why'd you change it?
(D91PS000) [228] Right right right well we we'll we'll look at that quite clearly.
[229] One I mean one of the reason's that we've actually changed these round and and don't think it's right is because the has a there's been a cut cut cost cutting exercise within the building.
[230] The theatre like most other organisations have actually looked for savings and this this trust has had to look for seventy thousand pounds savings.
[231] I mean when you're looking for seventy thousand pounds savings you can only do two things.
[232] You can either look at people's jobs because that's the bulk of the money goes or you look at the charging policy or you look how the building's run.
[233] Now we've actually found seventy thousand pounds worth of savings we haven't made anybody redundant and we've actually quite clearly taken in that seventy thousand pounds within our overall budget past decisions has had to be taken and they've been taken as I said earlier hopefully when the financial climate gets better we perhaps we'll be able to [...] other things all or were revert back to things that we we do wish to do because the the financial restraints on us.
[234] If you're raising a particular point and the reason that we're here this evening is to look at things that people are raising we'll look at that report we'll look at the point your raising and er we'll we'll see if it validity to it.
[235] Sorry.
(D91PS007) [236] My name's Derek in any profit-making org organisation the results shown by the playhouse would have automatically brought about a change of management or does the Chairman of the Harlow theatre trust still consider that it is running the business very smoothly?
(D91PS000) [237] Your asking me as chairman of the board and I think I can speak to the board I think that the theatre has actually managed very well.
(D91PS007) [238] Why the meeting then?
(D91PS000) [239] Sorry.
(D91PS007) [240] Why why is the meeting then?
(D91PS000) [241] Why what?
(D91PS007) [242] Running well?
(D91PS000) [243] Cos I think it's important that er the the the theatre actually talks to the people who actually use the why are you saying we shouldn't be talking to people then?
[244] No I think I think it's it's it's a valid point to say that the trust should be talking to the people that actually use the building.
(D91PS007) [245] Hm hm.
(D91PS000) [246] Who've actually come in to see the shows to get there point of view to say what they like and what they dislike.
[247] To say whether they feel the things that that they like to see and that we're not doing.
[248] And has been said by several people who are here.
[249] There's things that we are doing like I've been told by a couple of people this evening the autumn programme they think it's very good very progressive very enjoyable I thi that that to me that reinforces the autumn programme by several people so people who here are people here this evening feel they we say something about what isn't on the agenda or what is on the agenda but I think that's what the meetings for but I don't think it's a bad exercise to talk to the people who actually pay come in the building I mean I think that's a valid exercise.
(D91PS007) [250] I think it's a wonderful exercise why doesn't it happen more often?
(D91PS000) [251] Well.
[252] It 's happen this evening.
(D91PS007) [253] Cos of the marketing policy.
(D91PS000) [254] Perhaps if it's so successful if it can [...] successfully this evening perhaps we will do it more often.
(D91PS007) [255] You will?
(D91PS008) [256] [...] .
(D91PS000) [257] Sorry yes.
(D91PS008) [258] I'm I'm really going to erm [...] I afraid I have experience of
(D91PS000) [259] Who are you sorry?
(D91PS008) [260] Brenda
(D91PS000) [261] Oh right.
(D91PS008) [262] And you know me very well Tom.
(D91PS000) [263] Yes. [laugh] . [clapping] .
(D91PS008) [264] No [...] .
(D91PS000) [265] You don't look the same from this side of the light Brenda.
Unknown speaker (D91PSUNK) [266] That's right that's right.
(D91PS000) [267] Is it a question for us [...] ?
(D91PS008) [268] The thing is I I me I've taken all my [...] up here today.
(D91PS000) [269] Yes.
(D91PS008) [270] I have used this building from the very beginning.
[271] I have always turned up when people have asked me to put children in their shows.
[272] I came in to this building last year I've got people sitting here who've realised it wasn't a happy place to be I found it quite difficult.
[273] I have staff who's morale was very under.
(D91PS000) [274] Sorry Brenda I don't I don't wanna cut in could you ask the question please?
(D91PS008) [275] Well I'm asking. [...]
(D91PS000) [276] Sorry I'd like the
(D91PS008) [277] the thing is
(D91PS000) [278] question.
(D91PS008) [279] There is not well alright then my question is .
(D91PS002) [280] Say what you want.
(D91PS008) [281] I I I.
(D91PS008) [282] Why don't you shut up.
(D91PS008) [283] You know the thing is I feel that when I was tried to get the theatre board and I have contacted various people on the board I have never been listened to.
[284] I feel I'm just regarded as a neurotic woman I've been told that by Mr I've found that is was very yes I have don't deny it.
(D91PS008) [285] No you've not.
(D91PS008) [286] I have tried every way I wrote let a letter hoping somebody would actually come and ask me what was wrong.
[287] I wanted to put a a morning on when I realised there was problems here just a morning an open morning which would of brought probably nine hundred thousand pounds into this building, in July I came in to try to see the Director of the playhouse I couldn't go through the written way because I was waiting for exam date to come through.
[288] I've tried three times to see Mr he wasn't available.
[289] I then gave a message to his secretary personal assistant and was told no the letter I receive was that I shouldn't go through something third hand you don't see what the other side is.
[290] I've got a big school we fill this place in when I come in here.
[291] I'm asking is there a way that the board would actually listen.
[292] You know if I if I don't if I've offended Mr in any way then that is one thing but I do put on bottoms on seats and I bring money into this building.
[293] I'm one of the people who've actually got the guts now to stand up and say that I [...] . [clapping] .
(D91PS008) [294] Sorry I'm not sure yeah I'm not sure what [...] decide but I'll be very clear what they would do.
Unknown speaker (D91PSUNK) [295] I think thing is. [...]
Unknown speaker (D91PSUNK) [296] [...] in there mind.
(D91PS008) [297] People are frightened Ron there is a fear thing going on in this place.
Unknown speaker (D91PSUNK) [298] Yes.
(D91PS008) [299] Which might sound terribly dramatic people are frightened that if you offend you will not use this building again.
(D91PS002) [300] Here here.
Unknown speaker (D91PSUNK) [301] Here here.
(D91PS002) [302] Here here.
(D91PS008) [303] The staff here maybe I should be I shouldn't be saying this the staff are finding it very difficult I mean what I'm trying to say is for goodness sake eyes should be opened.
(D91PS000) [304] We applauded because of the your new brochure
(D91PS000) [305] And you are sorry.
(D91PS000) [306] I'm Jean from the Harlow Symphony Orchestra.
[307] In your new brochure here that you've put on the table erm it says a meeting it doesn't actually say a meeting actually it says we need your ideas come along and tell us that's why we applauded. [clapping] .
(D91PS001) [308] Keith once again.
(D91PS000) [309] I'm sorry not Keith once again we've got other speakers that haven't spoke once sorry. [...] .
(D91PS001) [310] Jim er as a private individual.
[311] er Mr Chairman your care to require question so here's a question.
[312] Is this a public consultation meeting?
(D91PS000) [313] The meeting this evening is to get the public's views and how best to plan it's progress
(D91PS001) [314] Why does a view have to be expressed as a question?
(D91PS000) [315] Sorry?
(D91PS001) [316] Why does a view have to be expressed as a question?
Unknown speaker (D91PSUNK) [317] Hm hm. [clapping] .
(D91PS002) [318] Chair Ian [...] .
(D91PS001) [319] following on from that er that the point that I think is being made is that a contribution does not have to be put forward in a shape of a question to be er a useful contribution to the debate and and your erm pressure upon er the lady who spoke er a while ago was er insisting that she she
(D91PS000) [320] that's right
(D91PS001) [321] addressed you in the in the form of a question that is not necessarily the the only way to conduct a debate and I think that's the point that's being made .
(D91PS000) [322] Well I think it's sorry I don't think it will serve any purpose people actually get up and make character assassinations of other people and when were talk in terms of I said You said and He said I don't think that's a productive way to conduct the evening's business. [...] .
(D91PS000) [323] Quite clearly the reason that people have been asked to come along this evening and have come along this evening is to put there points of view about how the see the theatre in the future what is programme facilities are the things that aren't happening here they feel should be happening here that's what it's for not here to serve any purpose for individuals to get up and make personal cuts on people or say what happen on a Saturday morning or a Thursday afternoon cos I
(D91PS000) [324] Anybody wishing if anybody wishes to ring me anyone [...] I'm not I'm not you see I don't see that serves any purpose I'm sorry I do not think that serves any purpose if you wish to ring me outside this meeting
(D91PS008) [325] I have rung you I have rung you.
[326] The reason I'm standing up here cos your not get things done in this town I'm sorry it is the only way of saying something .
(D91PS000) [327] I'm available to listen and hear what they've got to say.
(D91PS008) [328] They are not.
(D91PS000) [329] And discuss it with them.
(D91PS008) [330] They are not .
(D91PS000) [331] That's quite clear I'm prepared to do that .
[332] I don't think people interrupting and shouting this evening will solve anything quite clearly [...] .
(D91PS008) [333] It is the only opportunity .
(D91PS002) [334] Chair.
(D91PS003) [335] Can I just say just say one thing Paul and for myself erm I don't think that Brenda just two things I'm a very against character assassination erm I don't think that Brenda was character assassinizing
Unknown speaker (D91PSUNK) [336] No
Unknown speaker (D91PSUNK) [337] no
(D91PS003) [338] What she was doing is she was talking as a person who's got a genuine love of the theatre as we all have that's what were doing here looking for solutions now can I'm I'm as I said I'm not assassinating your character now but you're being very intimidating in the way that your talking to people. [clapping] .
(D91PS003) [339] Why is that?
(D91PS000) [340] Because I don't.
(D91PS003) [341] Sorry that's a question
(D91PS000) [342] [...] . [...]
(D91PS000) [343] What I'm trying to do is chair a meeting and to prevent what happening what's just happened when people start jumping up and shouting I don't think that's productive ways to chair any meeting or allow that to happen.
Unknown speaker (D91PSUNK) [344] No your not.
(D91PS000) [345] The second thing [...] productive I don't think it's productive for people to interrupt [...] start shouting at me and chairing at me or shout shout at the platform cos I think all that's gonna happen there is the meetings gonna disintegrate and nothing will be as right.
[346] I've.
[347] The reason this playhouse the reason.
[347_1] I mean that sort of thing doesn't help it right.
Unknown speaker (D91PSUNK) [348] I agree with that I agree with him.
(D91PS000) [349] The same person the same person all I'm saying the reason that the meeting was convened this evening and the reason that Paul wants the meeting this evening was to get the views from the public about what they felt was going on at the playhouse and what they would like to see that isn't taken place I think that was the thing behind the meeting and that's what we'd like to see right okay. [...] . [clapping] .
Unknown speaker (D91PSUNK) [350] If you generally want the views of the public it is no good trying to false those views through a straight jacket of your own to make it what you think there views should be unless of course they go right over the top in which they [...] I don't think that's happened so far. [clapping] .
Unknown speaker (D91PSUNK) [351] Chair can I try er to to wrap this up so that we can get back onto debate by delivering a question to you as chair?
(D91PS000) [352] Yes.
Unknown speaker (D91PSUNK) [353] The point's that I think is trying to be made is that there are a lot of people here tonight who do wish to express an opinion and that opinion is not necessarily formulated in question form.
[354] Will you allow people to address the panel as a a comment and not just a question yes or no if you say no fine we all understand and we have to er formulate our our ideas as a question and we'll carry on that case is quite simple and straight forward like that.
[355] You are an experienced chair you're good at your job and if people get out of hand you know how to shut them up.
(D91PS000) [356] I'm prepared for people who actually prepare to make comments yes I think you've got to limit the time and make comments not particularly what people get up and speak for ten minutes I don't think it's fair on the people this evening who've come along and put a question about why aren't you doing certain things I think that's and I don't want those people to actually come to a solution.
[357] I'm not prepared I'm not prepared for individuals to get up but if your not if you don't want to listen to what I've got to say that's okay but I don't I'm not prepared for people to perhaps to start making personal points about people actual work within the [...] I certainly wouldn't do it I don't think it's it's a question of [...] .
(D91PS004) [358] Right you've made a point now [...] .
(D91PS000) [359] I think it's [...] .
(D91PS004) [360] I think you've spoken more than a few minutes.
(D91PS000) [361] I'll continue to speak if you keep interrupting. [...]
(D91PS000) [362] I quite clear [...] to do that okay thank you.
[363] Yes.
Unknown speaker (D91PSUNK) [364] [...] .
(D91PS000) [365] Where?
Unknown speaker (D91PSUNK) [366] I think there's a lady over there with her hand up
(D91PS000) [367] When I say I can't see people I think it's the lighting but there is a sort of a I can't recognise people by face.
[368] Someone at the back yes [...] .
(D91PS005) [369] Mr chairman Derek I've lived in the town for something like thirty five years and seems to me that the problem here is a lot of mistrust between people who use the theatre and the board somewhere people are not getting answers.
[370] Would it not help if the board gave a written assurance to the people who've been complaining here that they will meet them on any occasion to discuss the problem in writing please because from Brenda it appears that it just does not happen.
Unknown speaker (D91PSUNK) [371] That's right.
(D91PS005) [372] If we could have it in writing and we could publicise it I'm sure they would [...] where to go and how to do it.
(D91PS000) [373] If anybody has any absolutely yes I'll be quite happy I mean to me chairman of the trust or with management committee to meet anybody if they feel that they've got some concern they wish to discuss I'm quite happy to do that all I can say is that nobody has actually wro wro wrote to me or rang me to say they'd like to meet to discuss that and I'm quite happy to do that.
(D91PS008) [374] You've had letters
(D91PS000) [375] But I think it may be more appropriate if I actually met with say the management committee as opposed to myself yes I'm quite happy to do that to meet any individual or group who feel they have some concerns they wish to discuss and I give that I give that assurance this evening.
Unknown speaker (D91PSUNK) [376] Seems to be [...] somewhere along the road or otherwise your gonna get nowhere nobody.
(D91PS000) [377] Yeah I'm quite happy to do that.
[378] Sorry someone here yes.
(D91PS006) [379] I'm Mrs and er the point I wanna make is that I understood when Jimmy Jones came here had two lovely full houses but I heard through the building through the grapevine that the members of the trust or council objected to him because he was racist his jokes and sexist.
[380] Now if you're talking about filling the seats it's obvious that the people in Harlow like that type of thing so why don't we have more of it. [clapping] .
(D91PS000) [381] The answer to that question would be that the Council's actually the Councillors adopt an equal opportunity policy and that policy now has been adopted by the theatre trust and the theatre trust wouldn't put anything on if they feel sexist or racist or ageist.
(D91PS006) [382] That makes you like censors then
(D91PS000) [383] No well that's that's a debateable that's a debateable point but I think that would that is the policy of the board [...] .
(D91PS006) [384] Talking about [...] bums on seats here.
(D91PS000) [385] Well we could I mean there are many ways there are many ways that we could actually fill this building apart from putting Jimmy Jones on there's lot's of things perhaps we could really put on which we would [...] .
(D91PS006) [386] [...] .
(D91PS000) [387] And then if we would find totally unacceptable we certainly wouldn't be prepared to do that
(D91PS008) [388] [...] .
(D91PS006) [389] I didn't I didn't see him myself personally I don't like him but it's a matter of choice.
(D91PS000) [390] Does anybody who hasn't asked a question or wishes to make a comment who who would like to?
Unknown speaker (D91PSUNK) [391] Yes I in relation to the above
(D91PS000) [392] sorry
Unknown speaker (D91PSUNK) [393] Aha for the studio theatre to be dark t during the autumn [...] and I I do regard the studio theatre as the frenzied heart of a theatre and I have enjoyed many of the performances very much and I just hope very much we can just get some more money from somewhere carry on I [...] [tape turned over]
(D91PS008) [394] In the studio.
[395] One of the reasons why [...] to save money is because the studio theatre has a limited capacity.
[396] And the sort of er money that won't have to pay a reputable alternative theatre it was such that one couldn't hope to break even on that capacity with the sort of seat prices that were that we're charging.
[397] So sadly that was one of those things that we had to cut.
[398] I know there are people here
Unknown speaker (D91PSUNK) [...]
(D91PS008) [399] I know there are people here in the audience that use used to come to classical music concerts, horrendously expensive even with the Eastern orchestral board's subsidy.
[400] For example if you had the London Mozart players here as we frequently did and frequently played to full houses, then even with a hundred percent house there was a subsidy required of something like seven or eight pounds per seat, in order to meet the cost of presenting that particular concert and we've done it for years but sadly when we had to make cuts that was one of things the board decided they had to cut up they had to save money somehow.
(D91PS002) [401] May I make a relevant point please?
(D91PS000) [402] You'll ask a question.
[403] Yeah surely. [...] .
(D91PS002) [404] In the current programme the studio is in use for seventeen days out of a possible a hundred and forty seven.
[405] In the next ten months starting in September ninety one it's in use for sixty four days out of a possible three hundred.
[406] That is economic lunacy, not saving money it's lunacy it should be in operation making money bringing people in.
(D91PS007) [407] Question Mr Chair.
(D91PS000) [408] Yeah.
(D91PS007) [409] My names Christopher with reference to that [...] representing myself.
[410] Reference to that point is that management or mismanagement. [clapping] .
(D91PS007) [411] could you answer the question please
(D91PS000) [412] Yeah the board in it's wisdom looking at the financial situation decided to take on a policy which actually prohibited the use of the studio theatre by professional companies and I think that's reduced the actual use of that facility.
(D91PS004) [413] Can I ask erm what's happening to the Harlow Playhouse based Youth theatre cos obviously that has left a big gap in performances [...] cos there's nothing in this programme.
(D91PS008) [414] Yes one of the er sad things about Harlow youth theatre which many of you will remember er was sole run so successfully by Roger over a number of years.
[415] Sadly when Roger left in nineteen eighty-six it took the education of [...] who provided Roger's er salary until point successor.
[416] During that time of course nobody there to run it the youth theatre sadly er ran down.
[417] Subsequent of that of course to meet the need we had Stage Directions come into being very vibrant thrusting young people theatre's company and really what's happen is that Stage Directions in part anyway has taken over the mantle of the old Harlow youth theatre.
[418] Harlow youth theatre now with our developing links with Harlow College and it's performing arts division er is now based in the College with tutor's from staff of the college who's job is one way er that that we could we could push it forward.
(D91PS008) [419] I'd just like.
(D91PS008) [420] Yes.
(D91PS008) [421] Like to ask in relation to er previous comments made before [...] .
[422] Why then are there not more amateur productions in the new season erm in in the studio erm not just from the companies that actually use the studio at the moment.
[423] Because I'm sure they don't cost as much to put on up there as do professional productions?
(D91PS008) [424] Well certainly there there are in the coming season there's a many people sitting here tonight will know.
[425] Large number of er amateur production in fact there's an amateur show in the studio theatre one er once every three weeks.
(D91PS008) [426] Yeah but what about .
(D91PS008) [427] And cos the the studio is also used regularly for rehearsals for example or as you know if er local amateur company is putting on a show in the studio they're given the use of the studio a week before the week of the show.
(D91PS008) [428] Yeah but .
(D91PS008) [429] Cos that is an advantage of it.
(D91PS008) [430] Okay but you've
(D91PS000) [431] Your point sorry yes .
(D91PS008) [432] Got local advantage to them but that never used to happen okay so why is it happening now?
[433] They I mean in a time when it's sort of been difficult to make money erm why is that one got not gone by the board and more amateur production put in there?
[434] I'm sure the people who's actually used the studio theatre would willingly give up that week before it never used to happen.
(D91PS000) [435] What you're saying is you'd like to see more amateur productions?
(D91PS008) [436] Yeah.
(D91PS000) [437] Fine.
Unknown speaker (D91PSUNK) [438] erm.
(D91PS000) [439] Sorry the lady [...] .
[440] Yes .
Unknown speaker (D91PSUNK) [441] Mr Chairman erm I would like personally take up a suggestion that was in The Star about the possibility of a regional company being based at the playhouse in other words for a few months I would see it as people getting to know this company and rather like a repertory theatre of old then people would want to come and see these people in different roles and I think that would add to the you know repetitive.
(D91PS000) [442] Right.
Unknown speaker (D91PSUNK) [443] Coming to see these shows.
(D91PS000) [444] Right.
Unknown speaker (D91PSUNK) [445] I'd like the board to consider that.
(D91PS000) [446] Okay that sounds [...]
(D91PS000) [447] erm talking about the sorry David the Playhouse being an entertainment centre, perhaps you should utilise the space a little bit more I'm sure if we go down stairs now into the foyer bar it's probably empty as it is erm many nights of the week.
[448] I'm sure if you go to the stage door club tonight erm.
Unknown speaker (D91PSUNK) [449] it's closed
(D91PS000) [450] Right I mean these are area's in in this entertainments centre as it was called earlier on the entertainment being theatre and the gallery erm that may be utilised more i.e. jazz bands in the downstairs bar erm any other ideas I mean get people into the building then you'll sell tickets to keep the place running.
(D91PS000) [451] I mean I I certainly accept that I mean I think there a lot of problems on the in the stage door club [...] several nights of the years.
[452] And why the problems there is that any sort of loud music was actually buried under the auditorial I mean that was the problem that occurred and we had to sort of tone it down a bit.
[453] And I think in the past there there actually been music in in foyer bar erm yeah I mean I'd certainly look at that I mean [...] .
(D91PS000) [454] [...] .
(D91PS000) [455] Were open I mean there's been lots of things done like that I mean you maybe aware of this sort of jazz in the Gilbey bar on Saturday lunch time and that's been running some time then it'll cease to come back again you know if you'll actually counting on the people actually coming cos of the jazz there I think as your looking at it it was slightly up it wasn't a wasn't great influx because there was jazz available so yeah we'll certainly look introducing things into different areas of the theatre but from past experience it doesn't automatically follow that if you can do that then you know it's gonna happen.
(D91PS000) [456] Just a reply to that though if for instance the foyer bar became a jazz club and it was it was a the jazz club all the time then it would get a name of it's own and it would get a reasonable quality.
[457] I was in Bristol recently and I went to a bar there which is packed every night people pay to go into a club to go in there [...] .
(D91PS000) [458] Sorry.
(D91PS001) [459] Mr Chairman what's the erm chance of the Petticoat restaurant coming back under the playhouse umbrella.
Unknown speaker (D91PSUNK) [460] No.
(D91PS001) [461] That I believe now it's run by the ladies that took over some while ago.
(D91PS000) [462] Sure.
[463] The chances that I think are nil.
[464] In fact the pet petticoat restaurant is is run as a [...] and because the theatre trust for whatever reason could make profit out of the petticoat restaurant [...] and people that actually work there for the trust that actually took it over and the trust actually get's a percent of the takings percent of profit and er.
(D91PS001) [465] So really it's.
(D91PS000) [466] And er as and as and as that .
(D91PS001) [467] Making [...] .
(D91PS000) [468] Were actually are making a profit we said at the beginning we do get a payment from petticoats so I don't see that arrangement actually changing but it suits the trust were not very good at running restaurant's. [laugh] .
(D91PS000) [469] As much as the Council are [...] it's very difficult. [...] .
(D91PS001) [470] [...] .
Unknown speaker (D91PSUNK) [471] Your be leaving yourself open [...] .
(D91PS000) [472] It's a special [...] it's a special licence actually running restaurants.
(D91PS001) [473] Yeah but it's.
(D91PS000) [474] Ehm.
(D91PS001) [475] It's sad not to have a restaurant that size in the playhouse so that people come to the theatre.
(D91PS000) [476] Well.
(D91PS001) [477] I think the stage door club is fine but it's so tiny and rather you know [...] .
(D91PS000) [478] That that was so [...] was originally was available for the ticket you could actually have some supper before you went in or perhaps supper when you came out and that was the sort of thing that was available.
[479] Unfortunately over the years there was such a deficit for whatever reason lot's of things were tried it was then decided that it was two options one was closing [...] lose so much money or actually put it out to franchise fortunately enough that people were at all the [...] money and we didn't get an income from it.
[480] I accept the point your raising on this if it was open in the evenings that would be an added hance to the building unfortunately it isn't yes I think your absolutely right.
(D91PS001) [481] But can't couldn't you perhaps develop then the the er stage door club could do more perhaps more meals and maybe erm have tickets that take in the cost of a meal so you actually.
(D91PS000) [482] Sorry.
[483] I've done that I mean one of the sad things about the stage door club is due to the design of the building you've really got to be looking to go there.
(D91PS001) [484] Yeah.
(D91PS000) [485] It's not sort of passing trade.
(D91PS001) [486] Oh.
(D91PS000) [487] I mean it's got if you've got a disability for instance you wouldn't be able to get in there.
[488] So that's that's a problem.
(D91PS001) [489] Oh.
(D91PS000) [490] So if your if you're an elder it'll be very difficult to get up those very steep steps etcetera so it's got disadvantages now it's been run all sorts of ways it's was run you know it was run as a as a wine wine bar it was run as a restaurant it's been run as a bar it's been run as a stage door club but all this all these ways have been run by private individuals it's not always been the trust that's run it it's been run as franchise all these people have great problems actually making profit out of it and making it suitable.
[491] And it's also got limited facilities about what you can and what you can't do there so there are problems there.
[492] I mean it's empty at the moment if anybody's got any suggestions or thoughts about what we can do with it it's certainly er we I I would like to hear those.
[493] If perhaps not this evening then if ring me or contact me.
Unknown speaker (D91PSUNK) [494] [...] .
(D91PS000) [495] I'd certainly raise that at any any thoughts about how it could be used it is facility at the moment isn't used should be used.
Unknown speaker (D91PSUNK) [496] Here's a simply suggestion why don't you move the facilities from the stage door club down to the foyer bar so that a load of people can go in there you'd change the general denouement of the foyer bar.
Unknown speaker (D91PSUNK) [497] Yeah.
Unknown speaker (D91PSUNK) [498] Simple.
Unknown speaker (D91PSUNK) [499] Yeah.
Unknown speaker (D91PSUNK) [500] ambience
(D91PS008) [501] I think there's nothing Chairman that a hundred and fifty thousand pounds wouldn't do.
Unknown speaker (D91PSUNK) [502] Well why not why not go outside for funding?
[503] So marketing exercise once again.
(D91PS002) [504] Ehm just to get back about the point the studio being dark erm it's just as a suggestion has anybody thought of actually running say a week's worth of drama courses with er an artist in residence or something like that coming in to do work shops.
[505] I know that stage directions will come along and youth theatre'd come down I'm sure a lot of people with theatre company come and do them.
[506] Surely that'll bring people back into the theatre it would obviously pay the artist it would also bring money into the theatre if the theatre could actually charged for them to do them [...] .
(D91PS003) [507] Well going back to the boards point about take over theatre as we did on [...] making a loss.
(D91PS000) [508] Sorry the restaurant you mean.
(D91PS003) [509] The restaurant yes petticoat restaurant.
[510] erm one did take up on public individuals if they made a profit have the board not considered perhaps teaming public individuals to run the theatre? [laugh] .
(D91PS000) [511] Sorry. [...] .
(D91PS000) [512] We are yes. [...] .
(D91PS000) [513] Yeah we are has that does that answer the question we actually are considering it
(D91PS003) [514] You are [...] .
(D91PS000) [515] We are [...] that.
(D91PS004) [516] Going back again to Dave 's point about the foyer bar.
(D91PS000) [517] Yes.
(D91PS004) [518] I think I probably speak for er quite a few people in the audience at the moment but I myself who intimidated going in there cos of the clientele that seems to be attracted to it.
[519] I don't know if I know I understand obviously monies not around at the moment but if they made some way of creating some kind of jazz pub closing it down making it part of the theatre again it's it's just a like a pub and I I don't ever feel comfortable going in there and buying drinks on rehearse [...] . [clapping] .
Unknown speaker (D91PSUNK) [520] Mr Chairman too.
(D91PS000) [521] Hang on hang on.
Unknown speaker (D91PSUNK) [522] [...] .
(D91PS000) [523] Hang on
Unknown speaker (D91PSUNK) [524] It's just that we didn't know that I didn't hear what she said.
[525] Before you give the answer.
(D91PS000) [526] Sorry.
Unknown speaker (D91PSUNK) [527] I'd like to know what the question was.
(D91PS000) [528] She felt sorry.
(D91PS004) [529] I just make [...] .
(D91PS000) [530] She felt intimidated by going into the foyer bar.
(D91PS004) [531] Yeah [...] it doesn't actually seem [...] .
(D91PS000) [532] Can I just say two things on that first of all I think you're right.
[533] Secondly I think the sad thing is is that at one time the idea of the foyer bar was the fact that er mother's and children go in for a coffee facility or tea facility now I'm I'm one of one of the problems about criticism is is perhaps they don't know all the facts and one of the facts which I think astounded me was the actual local police stopped that and said that that wasn't permissible for if you were selling alcohol then it didn't it wasn't right that that children under age and young children were allowed in the same area and that was that was changed then we got a new a new police superintendent and he said it was permissible and then we got another super he went they don't stay very long in Harlow and we got somebody else came along and he said no that isn't permissible so we got very schizophrenic about what you could do with the foyer bar one minute you could have and the idea of about telling people and there young mothers going shopping come here for coffee, cakes for the children etc stop that we've now got a new superintendent in Harlow and I think with applied going back to him and saying well please advice us can we or can't we?
[534] The last superintendent said we can't and I think the point you've raised is very valid since they actually stopped that facility said that they're not allowed in there it has I think gone into a situation where it isn't a very quite place erm and there problems about what goes on there etc and I think need to look at it.
[535] But I personally feel that it needs complete refurbishment and that costs money I think that the points been raised earlier about having some sort of jazz pub here or some pub here is very bad and I think we could investigate that.
(D91PS004) [536] Can you think if we have something meal facilities which has also been raised if then maybe the stage door club area could be used for something like light rehearsal space which is always in demand.
(D91PS000) [537] Yeah.
(D91PS004) [538] Or another kind of committee room
(D91PS000) [539] Right.
(D91PS004) [540] Actually utilise our space not necessarily for the public which obviously is difficult to get to the disabled people etc but using it for something like that.
(D91PS000) [541] When we say when we say that that we stage door club is closed it closed in the place it's not open every evening but we do actually let it out we let it out to companies and whatever conference or companies who want a facility or meeting place something we do actually market that and we do actually ask people if they want to use it and in fact it has been taken up there.
[542] But I've I think it is a valid facility but it depends what the facilities for.
(D91PS004) [543] Yeah.
(D91PS000) [544] I think the problem about having it as a a a perhaps a wine bar or something is that is that it's very difficult to get to and I think it don't does create problems for people but I think there is a solution there we just need to actually target the right use for it.
[545] [...] here.
(D91PS004) [546] Alan speaking for myself.
[547] It's apparent from the meeting here that a number of people feel they have a grievance about the theatre and the way it's run, would it not be an idea for the board on a regular basis to invite users of the theatre to attend.
[548] To approach them tell them how they feel about things rather than having to ring you up and make an appointment if only once a year or once every six months use a group [...] .
(D91PS000) [549] Right you have to come [...] I think the basis of this evening was to get people to come along and put there points of view and to say what's happening and what isn't happening and I think we can take that take that away and considerate it yes I mean I I think the board or the management committee will be happy to meet with people to discuss the use of the theatre er what it's used for what might what the unhappiness is if there is unhappiness and the positive and the positive as well as the negative points yes.
(D91PS004) [550] It would prevent there being a build up
(D91PS000) [551] Certainly we'll do that.
[552] Yeah.
[553] [...] chap [...] .
(D91PS005) [554] [...] erm when I first started working in Harlow eighteen years ago one evening I came up just to see what the playhouse was all about.
[555] I was shown round the building although there was a performance on by a very pleasant elderly doorman who's not here any more I've been coming ever since.
[556] er is not a possibility of having more open days so that general public can come in to see what's happening and not only advertise in Harlow but advertise I live in Bishop's Stortford now in the surrounding districts erm time gets although you said you get fifty per cent of people coming from outside of Harlow it doesn't matter where the people come from as long as they come so more open days free erm to get people to come in and er particularly er outside people also I would suggest that the er chairman's of the local district council's who are not contributing be invited to the open day to see what er the playhouse is doing for the people who live in there er council area's to see whether we can get some more supports er as a Stortford resident I'd be quite happy to add a bit on my community charge to go to the playhouse. [clapping] .
(D91PS006) [557] Perhaps er school children could be brought in when the theatre start's during the day who actually see how the theatre runs see what theatre's all about and they might be interested in the theatre. [...] .
(D91PS008) [558] We have er demand for tours of the theatre schools in the area which were not able to meet.
Unknown speaker (D91PSUNK) [559] It seems an ideal [...] .
(D91PS008) [560] And it is you know it seems to take up quite a bit of time for members of staff and we do as many as we can but sometimes we have to say sorry we we can't do any more this week.
(D91PS002) [561] Peter from [...] .
[562] Chair can I make a suggestion quite clearly a large number of people have made some very good and valid recommendations or suggestions to you and the board this evening and you've said on many occasions this evening the board will obviously go away discuss those and take a view on the particular ideas.
[563] Now might it not be also a very good idea then to report back to another public meeting with the results of those suggestions possibly done in a written form which could be freely available before the meeting so that people can discuss these in a structured way because I think this evening one of the problems about this evening is that points are being missed because issues are being jumped from one to another in no structured way and I think that it might be worth while for another meeting where it is structured but certainly to produce the results of your discussions internally to many of the ideas that you've heard this evening.
Unknown speaker (D91PSUNK) [564] Here here. [clapping]
(D91PS001) [565] Could I just make one suggestion that it's made within the next six months as well.
Unknown speaker (D91PSUNK) [566] Here here.
(D91PS000) [567] With time permitting yes.
(D91PS001) [568] You've got six months for God's sake
(D91PS007) [569] Mr Chairman could I ask a question because one of the things that I've found missing this evening is specific things that people would like to see in this playhouse or perhaps specific things that we used to do and that find are missing and the last [...] I haven't heard the word gallery mentioned from there much at all what do we think about the gallery?
Unknown speaker (D91PSUNK) [570] Can I think.
Unknown speaker (D91PSUNK) [571] [...] . [...] .
(D91PS007) [572] Well I'd like to speak about the gallery I like to speak for myself and er just the visual arts and er the gallery when it first started was a gallery very much appreciated by appreciated by the Eastern Region er they saw it as potential a very significant gallery in the whole region which would have been a marvellous thing for Harlow to have.
[573] That has now changed Eastern arts no longer support the gallery now one obvious reason for that is the gallery started so well because of the enthusiasm from a number of professional people who came along and gave their advice and much of their time and such a body of people has not been called upon for a number of years now and once again a request to discuss this with Mr was refused.
[574] We have the gallery still running reasonably well but it is one man ten hours a week his experience is badly limited this marvellous free resource is no longer being called for. [clapping] .
Unknown speaker (D91PSUNK) [575] [...] .
[576] You asked what people would like to see in the playhouse.
Unknown speaker (D91PSUNK) [577] Is that being recorded?
Unknown speaker (D91PSUNK) [578] Yes.
Unknown speaker (D91PSUNK) [579] Yes.
Unknown speaker (D91PSUNK) [580] Yes.
Unknown speaker (D91PSUNK) [581] Yes.
Unknown speaker (D91PSUNK) [582] That's a very valid point.
(D91PS007) [583] What I would like to see in the playhouse is an open system of government very much like our council professes to follow.
[584] I would like to see agenda's for these meetings public available I'd like to see some commercial experience by a vote of general manager and their trustee's.
[585] I'd like to see not cutting cutting costs raise in income and finally I'd can only see these things coming coming about with the resignation of the five people on the stage tonight. [clapping] .
(D91PS008) [586] Janet erm Mr want's some practical suggestions I have one for goodness sake any show that's suitable for children charge those children half price that way you'll get [...] .
[587] [clapping] . In ten years time if you just give them a derisory thirty pence off people leave their children at home make it easier for them to bring them with them. [clapping] .
(D91PS000) [588] Yes.
Unknown speaker (D91PSUNK) [589] Steve represent the association of Natural Body Builders.
[590] Sir could you tell me why why the playhouse operates a policy whereby promoters cannot hire the venue outright.
[591] Other theatres operate this system quite successfully with little or no financial risk at all.
(D91PS000) [592] Sorry can you just explain that when you say [...] .
Unknown speaker (D91PSUNK) [593] I wrote to Mr in February of last year.
(D91PS000) [594] Yeah.
Unknown speaker (D91PSUNK) [595] Asking to erm promote a natural body building competition here erm the letter received back was we didn't feel it was suitable.
[596] On trying to contact Mr by phone I have on many occasions I was put off to say he wasn't available I have also come to the foyer at the bottom asked to see Mr after twenty minutes wait and nobody turned up I decided to retire.
[597] I again last month wrote to Mr to try a promote a drug free competition for a Sunday giving various dates of nineteen ninety two and have yet to hear.
[598] I would like to know why this policy is that er that you didn't consider this a venue of body building to be suitable if it's not erm it's gonna put bums on seats and generate income to towards the trust why not? [clapping] .
(D91PS000) [599] Sorry.
[600] Someone [...] .
(D91PS006) [601] Can you answer the question please [...]
(D91PS000) [602] I I I was certainly with that question has been recorded and I I can't answer immediately but obviously you you what you've said we'll take that up with the management committee and come back to you straight away.
Unknown speaker (D91PSUNK) [603] [...] .
(D91PS000) [604] Okay.
Unknown speaker (D91PSUNK) [605] Can I also point out that erm the association of natural body builders stipulate that a contest must be held in a seated theatre such as this.
(D91PS000) [606] Right.
Unknown speaker (D91PSUNK) [607] Supplying cafeteria and bar facilities and there's no one else in Harlow to seat four hundred plus people and that's like regulars and if the Harlow playhouse turn around and say no we're not interested where else are we to go?
[608] In in this instance the Harlow Sports Centre been very kind in doing everything they can to host this venue and hopefully in the near future the Harlow playhouse will open their arms also thank you. [clapping] .
(D91PS000) [609] Yes yes.
(D91PS000) [610] Sarah .
[611] I have been using the playhouse for about ten years now and going back to the point that someone made earlier about sex well about erm racism sexism is doesn't that count as censorship.
[612] The same as the way that this gentleman has found it's somebody else making a decision to what people can see and I don't consider some a show like Pro's and Con's which had female nudity and two hundred and fifty people walk out in one night to mean something which I think is enhancing to the playhouse. [clap] .
Unknown speaker (D91PSUNK) [613] I'd like to take up a couple of points if I may about getting some [...] erm we were talking before [...] mentioned children coming in on a regular basis er it's called living.
[614] What about getting those children as they go out a voucher that their parents can bring them along to see a show at a reduced rate.
[615] We've got there interest they come they've seen they've seen how the theatre works let them come to see the theatre working.
[616] Then there's a lady over here who comes or used to come on a regular basis a couple of times a month she comes now a couple of times a year.
[617] Encourage her to come back more often you'll not only sell the seats you'll sell the drinks you'll sell the ice cream you make good profit from those and every theatre and every promotional help is done.
[618] Drinks and ice creams are profits right.
[619] Then we talk about the lady from Sawbridgeworth who said she get's no incentive I get my incentive use by using my leisure card that lady gets no incentive to come back.
[620] What about some sort of sticker that she gets that can use the use of her period of time [...] another idea to [...] around.
(D91PS000) [621] Right is there any body that hasn't asked a question who would like to ask one?
(D91PS001) [622] Yeah.
(D91PS000) [623] Sorry.
(D91PS001) [624] You asked about the gallery.
(D91PS000) [625] Yes.
(D91PS001) [626] Eh personally I think it's [...] .
(D91PS000) [627] Your sorry your name?.
(D91PS001) [628] Peter [...] from Harlow Society of Art.
[629] I personally think the gallery's grossly under used you have a large number of exhibitions that seem to extend over six to eight weeks.
[630] Personally I think it should be restricted to about four weeks and get more exhibitions in there for wider variety and also there's a number of er travelling exhibitions around the country that come down North er from up North down to the South to show around here that you can book these any time you want er I talked to somebody organised an exhibition in London [...] and they are quite willing to come to Harlow [...] you book us and we have nothing like this at all.
[631] And all that's [...] repetition going around.
[632] [...] .
[633] All we seemed to get is abstract art which people in Harlow means so few appreciate which I quite understand. [laugh] . [...] .
(D91PS002) [634] Ehm Ron .
[635] There's been some concern about the complete show of publicity particularly for studio theatre show's the amateur ones.
[636] Sometimes there's a good write up beforehand sometimes there's nothing.
[637] Is any body pacifically in charge of publicity or is it a committee meeting eh committee do more can you tell me er who's in charge?
(D91PS008) [638] We produce a press release every week in advance send it out in forty three publications.
(D91PS002) [639] It's funny er even even though there's about five free paper's er sometimes there isn't a write up at all I'm not talking about your your panel.
(D91PS000) [640] No.
(D91PS002) [641] A lit little write up through through pub this would surely bring more people in if they knew what was [...] .
(D91PS008) [642] We are constantly talking to the press try and persuade them to give us more coverage.
[643] Some newspapers do The Star. [...] . [laugh] .
(D91PS000) [644] [...] .
(D91PS001) [645] I I I dislike the concern about the communication level between the general manager and the board.
[646] erm I'd we we have a number of suggestions er a gentleman over there about the er body building was that reported back to you for a start and did you discuss this? erm you know I I really thought it sort of modern management techniques if there applied here like team working net working [...] it's it this way you could actually begin to perform as the committee at the moment your the shadowy figures in the background.
[647] The only person that I know about at the playhouse is Gordon.
[648] erm so I'm aware I'm I just like to know if Gordon is actually aware of the terms like team working net working erm [...] .
[649] Has he been on any recent training courses to discuss this? [laugh] .
(D91PS000) [650] You missed a couple off that proactive [...] I think is the buzz word it's called seem less production so [...] .
[651] If you want [...] .
(D91PS001) [652] I'm not into buzz words
(D91PS000) [653] I would suggest you to ask that question in fact you'll ask Gordon afterwards.
(D91PS000) [654] Okay.
(D91PS000) [655] Is there anybody hasn't asked a question who would like to ask one.
(D91PS003) [656] My name is Buzz stage art technical art. [laugh] .
(D91PS003) [657] I've come in this theatre in nineteen seventy five.
[658] I came here as a company stage manager from Oxford playhouse company.
[659] Listening to all this tonight reading that article in The Star which I personally disliked intensely
Unknown speaker (D91PSUNK) [660] Here here
(D91PS003) [661] I want to say the thing that's happening at the moment in my difficult life that I'd hold onto like a drowning man with a log.
[662] One thing that works at this time forget today and yesterday and all the week it's the number of children that come into this playhouse now we have us we have a thing called work experience where they come from the school's and the poor little bugger's have gotta work with me. [laugh] .
(D91PS003) [663] If they go away and say I'll be back Buzz I'll be back.
[664] And they come back and see me what they taken from here and seen in other papers is a privilege for me if I've set them off in my biased Welsh way. [laugh] .
(D91PS003) [665] But they do come back loads of them and we send them off everywhere into dance into acting into trade shows we've got a terrific act on here all you people who strive and slave towards making this playhouse work we're a bloody miracle.
[666] But don't lets knock it to death don't lets kick it this place saved my life I almost killed myself trying to fulfil those [...] that we've been talking about.
[667] I've done over fifty of them I'm still standing up just about.
[668] Fifty that's a hell of a lot of show's and a lot of Mrs and a lot of Mr and a lot of Janet I love you you know.
[669] [laugh] . [...] a bit of all of you lot so come on people you're not doing yourself justice. [clapping]
(D91PS000) [670] Can I sort out [...] .
(D91PS004) [671] Chairman I haven't got a question my name is Harold er I come from Bishop's Stortford, er I work in Harlow and I don't think that you should necessarily forget that some of the people are not residents in Harlow do in fact work in Harlow .
(D91PS000) [672] Your absolutely right .
[673] Yes.
(D91PS004) [674] Erm I I've done a lot of listening this evening er and I'm sure you have too from from the way in which the the rest of the board have been responding er with there eyes and ears even if they haven't always been open.
[675] erm I'd like to be a little bit positive about certain things this evening too because I too believe that you've got a very good programme.
[676] I think you maintain an excellent record in that but it does still come back to getting people into the theatre.
[677] And one of the things that I'm not sure we have addressed adequately now and perhaps won't this evening is how to get people into the theatre and I really thing that it would be worthwhile trying to find out stops people coming in.
[678] erm marketing is certainly one one and possibly does needs some more er attention but there were one or two things that that struck me as as er you went by and you asked to comment and and maybe give a small one that [...] there will pick up on.
[679] erm we actually find it quite hard to book our seats.
[680] If you pick up the phone and ring to get seats here you will very often find that you can't get through.
[681] There must be a way round that.
[682] Because I can't believe if you come in the off peak periods there really aren't that many people here erm I can't believe that the phone is so busy that that we're actually being stopped in making from reservations.
[683] I've listened to a lot of interest to to the people who've been commenting about the future and the schools and the young children coming in.
[684] erm just just as something totally off the top of my head erm I very much regretted the demise of the proper programme erm and in fact I I actually object to the paying twenty pence for something that er really doesn't represent value for money.
[685] But just as a thought for you since the school's are involved and since children are involved in a number of these things perhaps it has been tried I don't know erm you might actually be able to get a more regular input not only from the children and their but also from their par ents by perhaps involving or asking the schools to become involved in the production of the programme.
[686] erm that would maintain a regular interest from the schools and also from the children involved.
(D91PS000) [687] Right your absolutely right about the programme.
[688] Yeah and I'll certainly [...] and I we think are actually in process in looking at that lot as a rule that's a very valid point [...] .
[689] People are getting fidgety people are leaving can I just.
Unknown speaker (D91PSUNK) [690] Can we just.
(D91PS000) [691] Can I sorry could I could I take obviously take some question [...] people wish to ask a question because I think it's important that before people start drifting away we actually bring the meeting to some conclusion and determine where we're gonna go with the meeting once it's actually passed.
[692] So can I take people who actually haven't spoken already I think that's the fairest way.
(D91PS000) [693] There's a lady here.
(D91PS005) [694] Ehm er chair er Sheila from Harlow secretary of the film society which has operated here since the playhouse opened moved from the town hall er we do get people past the door we have been doing in years erm and I personally I'm also here as an individual I've been an arts lover for forty five years of my life [...] in Harlow.
[695] erm and I'd just got one comment that I like to make and er then the question.
[696] The comment is about publicity in Harlow itself and and just around it erm the environment.
[697] When I came to Harlow I was stuck by what a lovely neat town it was then erm but there were er absolutely no posters anywhere in Harlow.
[698] It's a tiny little things you know [...] er in glass cases now there are a few at bus stops but a lot of people don't use bus stops any more you know they drive erm I know that posters [...] great hoardings that we some of us probably grew up with when everybody knew what was on and the great big posters everywhere.
[699] Posters also teach young people how to develop a sense of [...] erm they also make life much more fun more interesting and erm this is great contrast with Harlow and an urban area like Greater London area where [...] as the report [...] by erm in er the report the report on [...] observation in London you know didn't mention the fact that publicity is of course is much more much greater than the London area erm and erm er one thing I see is missing could er er the reason is we found er the film society we can't advertise our events very well because of the restrictive bylaws on advertising poster advertising in Harlow I wonder if something could be done about this?
[700] Cos that's one reason a lot of Harlow people don't know what's on don't [...] erm you know they they don't really have contact with [...] erm they don't always use Harvey.
(D91PS000) [701] So.
(D91PS005) [702] Er erm I'm sorry it is the question now that I'm going to come to was going back to organisation how often does the board meet? and who does it regard as [...] ?
(D91PS000) [703] Sorry [...] .
(D91PS006) [704] John Company Secretary.
[705] erm in the first place there are no bylaws restricting the display of posters in Harlow erm there are however town planning er restraints on [...] and indeed there are a recognised number of sites which can be used for that purpose.
[706] erm on the question of the board all is answerable to the general meeting of the er company it's held in the Autumn of each year.
(D91PS000) [707] Right is there anybody that hasn't asked a question [...] .
(D91PS007) [708] It's not so much a question it's a comment.
[709] Yes erm listening to the punters I mean I know loads of people come up here and there's one thing which all of them tend to say and that this place is threatening.
[710] They come in and they're worried about the place they they feel it unfriendly.
(D91PS000) [711] What the auditorium or the whole [...] ?
(D91PS007) [712] Ev the whole building.
(D91PS000) [713] The whole building.
(D91PS007) [714] It's tacky it's erm well as soon as they come in the door they wanna walk out and that that's an overall opinion that's not just me or a couple of mates that's everybody.
[715] And what I'd like to know is is the board.
Unknown speaker (D91PSUNK) [716] That's your opinion [...] not mine not everybody.
(D91PS007) [717] I didn't say it was mine I said it was the people I've spoken to.
Unknown speaker (D91PSUNK) [718] Eh er don't sorry.
(D91PS007) [719] Right so can I have my opinion or or can I speak with these other people's opinion
Unknown speaker (D91PSUNK) [720] Yes please do
(D91PS007) [721] or shall we listen to you?
Unknown speaker (D91PSUNK) [722] please do
(D91PS007) [723] Right I am saying it's people that I've spoken to.
(D91PS000) [724] Right okay.
(D91PS007) [725] Is that clear it's people that've spoken to.
Unknown speaker (D91PSUNK) [726] Yeah.
(D91PS007) [727] Thank you.
[728] Right has the board consider giving this place I mean I I understand the the trouble with money etc but looking at making this place more inviting, at all?
[729] Yeah I mean have they just sort of said okay right as it is that'll do or are they seriously looking at making this place an inviting place to come to?
(D91PS000) [730] Yeah I mean two things.
[731] First of all the as you I think you touched on the board's got to work on a budget.
(D91PS007) [732] That's right yeah.
(D91PS000) [733] Money is tight so we need to be quite clear on I mean for instance I mean the seats have been recovered you know people smoking in the seats when they shouldn't be smoking and putting they're putting their cigarette's out on the floor I don't know [...]
(D91PS007) [734] Oh yeah but were not talking about.
(D91PS000) [735] No I'm not so I mean things like that there's wear and tear I mean the seats have to be recovered the carpet's have to be replaced the place has to be redecorated yes we do that.
[736] I mean the foyer when you come in to the building when the place was refurbished that was that we got the consultant's to look at the into the foyer and what you see as you come into the building is the recommendations of those consultants were talking about having a red foyer making it inviting and friendly that was their recommendation which was adopted.
[737] The whole carpeting of the building which has been done was that the consultants come in look at colour schemes and say this is what to do.
[738] So yes the answer to the question is yes there is a budget there is a budget and we need to do things now one of the problems could be the budget isn't sufficient to cover all that needs doing so I think you'll find that the building been built at a certain time there a comes a time you've got plan a maintenance programme which we have things need to be done.
[739] I think we need I accept I think we need to look at certain areas we need to look at the entrance I mean if we were doing the entrance again we would have electric doors on what like they've got on the Harvey Centre so you don't have to fight your way in I'm thinking of doors like this we'll do that.
[740] The colour the what the lay out of the foyer we would look at again to make it more inviting more friendly we'll do that.
[741] And I think when we talk in terms in getting around to spending the money we have got then we need to look quite clearly about how you make a place more inviting and it's also about when people come into the building how they're met what the receptionists like, when they ring up can they get through and I mean I'm I'm surprised that's said about the tickets that I think that our reception ticket areas an excellent area the people working there are first class are very friendly very helpful so it's trying to get that sort of concept through the building I thin k we work on that I think the building's kept very clean people who clean the building are very good but I hear what you're saying and I thinks it's been said earlier by the lady here by the foyer downstairs she feels threatened when she goes into that bar because I think the whole decor and the way it is is a threatening place I think we need to look at those so that was an old and [...] .
(D91PS007) [742] But [...] this this is spilling out onto the steps of the place. [...]
(D91PS007) [743] You've got you've got rubbish everywhere for a start .
(D91PS000) [744] Well that is
(D91PS007) [745] Is that is that the Council or is that the playhouse.
(D91PS000) [746] That's people.
[747] Well first of all that's people.
[748] If you actually you actually look at the front of the building there's a great deal of money been spent there's been new flower er boxes put out there.
(D91PS007) [749] Yes.
(D91PS000) [750] It's all been replanted and apart the fact that people pull them out is [...] .
(D91PS007) [751] So why is there not somebody responsible security say why why don't they go out there and stop it?
[752] I mean I've I've chased more people off
Unknown speaker (D91PSUNK) [753] Here here
(D91PS007) [754] I've chased more people off than the security has.
(D91PS000) [755] [...] .
(D91PS007) [756] Now have they got a directive to look after the front now or not?
(D91PS000) [757] I really I really do wish it was that simple and I wish that when I pick up The Star on a Thursday or one of the other local papers that I didn't read in it the twenty cars that's broken into and and all the other problems and I say to myself now why did that happen.
[758] All I do know is that we're very conscious a great deal of money's been spent by the Council and by the Trust to try and make the place outside more inviting those tubs been put there er they been planted etc there's a lot of litter there we've put litter bins there there's taxi rank there there's lot's of things been put there I think the problem is it isn't the people who do that I mean it's the people who actually do the litter and it's quite clear that we do go out we do tidy up but it happens and it's a case of balance of what we can do and what you can't do but we do work at it I can assure you.
(D91PS007) [759] Surely Tom one of the main criteria should be placing seats in the studio theatre for something with a bit more comfortable that way perhaps the punter's will come back more often it's easier to make a punter come back than it is getting in there in the first place. [...] .
(D91PS000) [760] Are you anybody Dor I've got erm Doris here is is there anybody hasn't asked I wanna sort of brig to some conclusion because people are getting restless Doris.
(D91PS008) [761] Tom mine is a comment and a request.
[762] erm as many people here know and like them I have worked in a voluntary capacity and one way or another in this theatre for many years and we can't do without it we don't want to see it close or any of those drastic things.
[763] Were all very concerned to keep it open and keep it flourishing.
Unknown speaker (D91PSUNK) [764] Here here
(D91PS008) [765] And with this in mind and I'm I'm you will notice that I haven't spoken at all and that is quite deliberate on my part but then I can also say the same for many people sitting round here who know quite well that they haven't spoken either.
[766] Is it possible for some of us and perhaps representative's of organisations or a group of us and I know I can talk to the board but I'm not necessarily speaking for anybody else if I natter to you other than myself.
[767] And I think it's very important that people can come and talk to you and some representative's of the board because there is unrest Tom and I'm not prepared to stick my neck out and say in what quarter this lies but it can be got over it can be ironed out because running a theatre is to do with team spirit and that team spirit get's conveyed to the public.
[768] A happy theatre a happy ship if you like a corny phrase to use is very very apparent and I'm sure my colleagues and friends around here would appreciate because they do believe they can't get at the management committee and they would like to so please Tom will that be possible at some time in the near future?
(D91PS000) [769] I assume so yes but erm also well yeah well yeah fine
(D91PS008) [770] Thank you [clapping]