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Northcott Theatre Exeter May Closes

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Broadway Legend
Broadway Legend
Northcott Theatre Exeter May Closes#1
Posted: 2/25/10 at 10:23am
Northcott Theatre Exeter May Closes
Exeter Northcott, one of the few remaining producing theatres in the south/west of England, has gone into administration.
The trustees of the theatre took the decision at an emergency board meeting. They claim that they were given financial information that showed the venue to be insolvent. Following this, the board appointed Ian Walker of Begbies Traynor in Exeter as joint administrator.
Chairman of the board of trustees Geoff Myers said: 'We took this decision with a heavy heart, but when presented with the latest financial information we had no choice but to place the theatre into administration. It is to be hoped that a way can be found to effect a rescue of the theatre. In the meantime, I would encourage theatregoers to continue to support the Exeter Northcott in the knowledge that those who book their tickets while the company is in administration will, in the event of any performances being cancelled, be issued with a full refund. I have been greatly encouraged by the response of stakeholders, who have agreed to do all they can to ensure the theatre continues in some way as a performance venue'
However, despite the board's claim that it had no choice but to place the venue into administration, it is understood that this view was not shared by Arts Council England, which had attempted - unsuccessfully - to persuade the organisation to continue to trade as usual for the time being.
Today, a spokesperson for the Arts Council said it was 'disappointed' that the Northcott's board had taken this decision.
'We are disappointed that the decision has been taken to place the Northcott Theatre into administration at this point. We have been working with the new management over the last two years to broaden the theatre's programming and increase its audiences.
The arts council has been working with the Northcott's new management to understand the extent of these problems but this work is not yet complete.
The Northcott confirmed that the venue's next show , 'The Ministry Of Fear', will go ahead as planned with its run at the Northcott until March 6. Beyond that, it is unclear what will happen. However, any tickets purchased after the venue has gone into administration will be protected and customers would receive a full refund if the performance were to be cancelled.

The development also marks the latest twist in an ongoing saga for the Nortchott.
In 2007 - shortly after reopening following a 2.1M million redevelopment - the venue was hit with the news that it was to lose its annual 547,000 grant from ACE as part of the controversial 2007 spending round decisions. At the time, the theatre said it would face the threat of closure if the grant was removed. In early 2008, ACE revised its decision and the grant was reinstated.
Later in 2008, long-serving artistic director Ben Crocker left the venue after ten years in charge and a new senior management team was appointed.
In October that year, the new chief executive Kate Tyrell announced a restructuring of the organisation in a bid to save money on running costs. The scheme saw several redundancies made at the venue, however it appears that it may not have been enough to right the company's finances.

Updated On: 3/2/10 at 10:23 AM
Broadway Star
Broadway Star
Northcott Theatre Exeter To Close#2
Posted: 2/28/10 at 5:47am
How disappointing. I used to work just up the road from this venue and it looks so much better since its refurbishment. However, I can't say I find their 2010 programme particularly enticing and that's the crux of the problem - people aren't going to come flooding back just because the seats are more comfy than they used to be and wi-fi is available in the foyer.

There are few enough major venues in the South West, lets hope a rescue plan can be formulated to prevent the loss of one of the main ones.
Seen some shows in my time....
Broadway Star
Broadway Star
Northcott Theatre Exeter To Close#2
Posted: 2/28/10 at 3:26pm
Awww my Fellas dad hes played here quite a few times grrr
former sadm2 (wink)
Broadway Star
Broadway Star
Northcott Theatre Exeter To Close#3
Posted: 2/28/10 at 4:37pm
It is sad that yet another theatre hits the financial buffers. (Hackney being another one in question.)However, sometimes theatre's are guilty of programming and staging events, which play to their already specifically cultivated audiences or attempt diverse and extreme work that fails to engage its current audience or develop a new one.

I feel the cuts in arts education over the past decades has impacted upon how theatre is perceived as relevant to the lives of the then young people whom it now hopes to engage. Ten to twenty years later many still have yet to experience live theatre.

Sadly this curbing of arts funding will increase further under which ever political party is voted in in a May General Election and especialy in the build up to the 2012 Olympics. I feel the pot of available cash to the Arts Council will significantly decrease and the travesty of regional theatres closing will become all too common.

Regional theates will I suspect have to develop more and more commercial based initiatives in order to meet the arts funding shortfall.

It is a sad indicement of the society in which we live where the arts are never perceievd as a valuable public service.