Although following government advice we are currently closed our creative and social events for members have continued to go from strength to strength and include a series of monologues, play readings, workshops and plans for our first online play performance, The Magistrate,by Arthur Pinero.
Meanwhile, the Trustees have been looking to the longer term and the level of activities we will be able to provide for the rest of 2020. It is becoming increasingly apparent that we are unlikely to be able to go “back to normal” in the short to medium term. We initially hoped that we would be able to offer a full autumn season of productions. However, based on current assumptions across the theatre world, it looks highly unlikely that we will be able to offer productions this year without addressing social distancing requirements. Not only is this likely to mean reduced capacity in the auditorium, but we’ll need to consider the overall access to the building, our restroom facilities and bar. We are desperately keen to schedule shows as soon as we can in the autumn/winter, but, even if this is possible, we are likely to have a limited season.
What is clear is that our initial assumption of returning to normal operations in the autumn is no longer a sound basis for planning, and the initial £30k estimated deficit for the financial year 2020-21 is an underestimate. Instead, our latest planning assumption is that, without mitigation, we might face a funding gap of up to £69k.
This is obviously far from welcome news, but we have been looking at all the ways in which we can reduce this gap. Most significantly, last week we received the £25k government grant set up by the Treasury to support small businesses, having initially been told we were not eligible, as we paid charity rather than business rates. We are extremely grateful for the support of our local MP, Fleur Anderson, and Wandsworth Council (particularly the Arts Office) in helping us secure this money. The grant will go a long way to securing our long-term sustainability, along with other government support including the employee furlough scheme, which is currently available until the end of June. Together, these will give us an expected contribution of £35k.
In such an environment, we will continue to be dependent on charitable grants and our own fundraising efforts to meet the remaining funding gap. We’ve been very fortunate to have received many generous donations for our fundraising campaign, Shine On, including a £1000 donation from local estate agent, Allan Fuller, a regular sponsor. To date, £12k has been given or pledged for the Shine On campaign (including gift aid), and we are now setting a new target of £20k for the campaign, to help close our funding gap for the year. We hope that our income will continue to grow with the support of our friends, and would encourage anyone who is able to donate through our website.
PUTNEY THEATRE COMPANY
We are one of the leading amateur theatre companies in the UK, based in Putney, south-west London.
We produce theatre that challenges our audiences, but also entertains them. We provide a friendly atmosphere and a process that helps actors, directors and backstage crews develop, get to know new friends and become part of our local community.
There are lot of ways to get involved. Find out more below:
How to Get Involved
We are a membership community, which means we ask everyone who gets involved with productions and the company to become a member.
If you're interested in joining us, we run regular member events for you to introduce yourself. If you drop us a line, we'll be happy to arrange for you to come in, see the space and talk to some current members.
Any theatre revolves around its shows, and Putney Theatre Company productions range from large-cast plays to monologues.
We stage about 12 main productions a year and our range is wide and challenging. Recent productions have included works by Shakespeare, Chekhov, Alan Bennett, Nina Raine, Tom Stoppard, Vicky Jones and Lucy Prebble to name just a few.
We aim to produce a diverse range of theatre – we don't only play the classics. Putney Theatre Company actively supports new writing, and often stages plays by relatively unknown writers – with much success. We also provide a showcase for our own members’ writing: members’ plays are regularly performed, and several have gone on to be published and performed elsewhere.