A presentation by Rob Allerston on the Theatre and its future.
Mr Rob Allerston, Phoenix Director of the Phoenix Theatre and Arts Centre gave a presentation on the work of the theatre and its future.
Mr Allerston had been the Phoenix Director for three years and had moved to Bordon a year ago. He was an eternal optimist and liked to put a positive spin on the town. There was a huge gap for what they were trying to deliver to Bordon and the surrounding villages.
The theatre and arts centre was at an exciting crossroads. Alan Carr, the comedian was performing at the theatre in February and Jo Brand was also due to perform in the near future. Omid Djalii, the comedian was starting his UK tour at the theatre that evening and the Guardian newspaper were attending the performance to do a report on the tour and he hoped for some good photographs of the theatre in the report. It was fantastic to get this calibre of stars to perform at the theatre.
The theatre was growing along with the town and he felt that this was a real opportunity for both. It was really important to keep on building on the numbers attending the theatre and arts centre.
He briefly explained some of the work he had done in the last two days including attending a meeting of Whitehill Town Council who had given them a major grant. He had been very nervous before the meeting as these were tough financial times and he had been concerned that they might not have been given the grant.
He explained that the theatre and arts centre had worked with a youth theatre and produced a play on domestic abuse which they had performed at local schools. They had visited about 20 schools in the area, the Army in Aldershot and the Police Force in Southampton with the play.
The theatre was not just about comedy nights, they held a pantomime every year and this year’s was The Snow Queen. This show was very popular and got children away from their computers and televisions.
The theatre was a brilliant place but not perfect. Great people worked there and it was good that young people were getting involved. He wanted the theatre to be part of the future of Bordon and the Trustees of the theatre and arts centre would love to give an input into what was possible in the town. The theatre trustees and staff were always ready to listen to people if they were missing something.
Mr Allerston thanked local District Councillors for their support and quick response to a crisis at the theatre just before Christmas. There had been no heating and they had a lake developing in the cellar and needed to replace the boiler very quickly. The five local Councillors had rallied round and given the theatre money to have the repairs done. This had meant that a small day centre for 20-30 people with Learning Difficulties had been able to continue meeting.
Councillors were given the opportunity to ask questions.
Councillors expressed their support for the theatre and its work, there was something about the building that gave it a buzz.
It was suggested that a music centre for youngsters could be developed. This would give them an opportunity to create their own music and make it affordable.
The theatre had put on a “Battle of the Bands” at which five local bands had performed their own music. There had been three prizes and one of these had been to go to a recording studio and put their music on disc.
The Chairman thanked Mr Allerston for taking the time to attend the meeting.