Taking 'Artistic' Risks

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Those Magnificent Men

The Community Centre has a long history of artistic endeavour. For aver 20 years the main engine of the place was the Tarvin Theatre Club, whose pantomimes, plays and musical events engaged dozens and dozens of village families. Up to 200 people a night packed the Hall for a 5 night run. More recently Ashton Hayes Theatre Club bring their productions to us and are now planning 3 productions a year. Audiences of 90 are common throughout their runs. So there is good evidence of theatre-going in the village. ...and yet? ......and yet?

The Community Centre is finding it harder to sell tickets for its own productions, either musical evenings or those sponsored by Cheshire Rural Touring Arts. While shows for very young audience do attract people, more adult shows struggle. To date, less than 20 tickets have been sold for Those Magnificent Men on May 16th.

Why might this be?

One answer may be that people enjoy seeing things they are familiar with. The pantomime is a case in point, a traditional format known to all and with few surprises. Ashton Hayes often choose quite challenging pieces, but their reputation for good work assures ticket buyers that they will see a very competent show. But with CRTA productions, there is definitely an element of risk — what is it about? Will I like it? Will it be worth the time and cost involved?

Sue Hardacre, who acts as Promoter for the Community Centre explains "As an enthusiast for the theatre I am willing to try anything and everything, but I realise not everyone is the same. When we pick a play for the Centre I try and find one that has a general appeal. I have avoided things in the very experimental 'Cutting Hedge' category that even I would find challenging. I have to acknowledge that there is a risk, how good is the play? How well rehearsed the actors? How well will it fit onto the hall? But I know that these are PROFESSIONAL companies and that their performance has been assessed by CRTA — their shows may challenge, confuse or occasionally underwhelm, but they should always entertain"

The choices for the autumn season are now being made. Should the Community Centre continue this policy? To answer this question go to www.tarvincommintycentre.org, http://www.facebook.com/tarvincc.1 or give Sue a call on 01829 741962

Best of all, go along to the Post Office and buy tickets for May16th. Those Magnificent Men are waiting to entertain you!