The next stage for Worthing Theatres?


Acting now for the future

 
 
What’s in a logo?
 
In this case, a great deal. In a previous post I have outlined the fate that awaits the three historic theatres of Worthing if we don’t act now.
 
A group of people who care about the future of arts, theatre and culture in Worthing have got together to set up a Company Limited by Guarantee which in its guise as a not for profit enterprise will be able to access grants and other funding denied to the current owners, Worthing Borough Council.
 
A very talented young designer and resident of Worthing, Tom Barnard, currently finishing a three year Graphics Design Course at Falmouth University, has worked tirelessly to produce a selection of brand images for the new Trust, from which the successful logo was selected.
 
The logo works on three levels. At first sight, you see an upright figure, an actor, arms aloft, head bowed taking the applause from the audience in front of him or her. The waves in front of the figure represent the people in the audience.
 
At second viewing you see a ‘T’ figure representing the ‘T’ in Theatres and Trust. The ‘T’ represents a triumphant celebration of all that’s good in the Worthing theatrical tradition.
 
At third sight, you might, if you tried, see the image of an anchor sitting above the waves in a manner that celebrates Worthing’s seaside town status.
 
The font selected, Futura, is a strong, positive typeface to represent the strength of purpose and passion that exists within the town for the theatres. Recently, 17,000 people signed a petition to signal their belief that the theatres are an essential part of the cultural landscape and should be preserved.

Acting now for the future

Worthing has a rich theatrical tradition, exemplified by its three working theatres – The Connaught, The Pavilion and the Assembly Hall. Like many other towns, Worthing is experiencing difficulties funding these and a working group has been set up to create a Public Trust via a Company Limited by Guarantee to take the theatres into community ownership. Worthing Theatres Trust will be headed by Jon Woodley who has led the Save Worthing Theatres campaign to date and a dedicated team of volunteers on the Trust Board with a blend of skills appropriate to the task.

Consider the history. Sir Alan Ayckbourn CBE appeared in several plays at the Connaught in the 1950s. Winston Churchill visited the theatre in 1956 to see his daughter Sarah perform in Terrence Rattigan’s play Variation on a Theme. Harold Pinter acted at the Connaught under the stage name of David Baron, taking residence in the town centre just a few yards from the theatre in Ambrose Place in the 1960s. Pinter’s first wife, actress Vivien Merchant, acted at the Connaught during this period. Giles Cooper worked with Pinter at the Connaught. Robin Maugham wrote several plays which he directed and premiered at the Connaught, including The Claimant (1962) and Winter in Ischia (1964).  Actress Marina Sirtis, perhaps best known for her role in Star Trek: The Next Generation, began her career in rep at the Connaught in 1976 and lived in the town. Actor Robert Blythe has also worked in repertory theatre at the Connaught.

The Trust intends to re-introduce Repertory Theatre to the Connaught. However, this project needs the support of the public of Worthing in order to succeed. We want to raise £800,000 in the next few months to sustain the theatres in the first few months of post-Council ownership. We need £5,000 immediately in order to set up a charity account and start the work of establishing the Trust. We have already created a brand identity, a website and a structure for the Trust.

Now it’s your turn. Please go to our website and sign up as Supporters. There will be an opportunity there to contribute money and in kind. We believe that Worthing needs its theatres. The theatres, in order to survive, need you. It’s time for you to take centre stage.

 www.worthingtheatrestrust.co.uk

Curtains for theatre in Worthing?  Not if we can help it.

One thought on “The next stage for Worthing Theatres?

  1. Great image! And glad to hear that the trust is going to keep theatre alive in Worthing.

    Well done for the commitment to creativity in the future, guys.

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