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Trust status for Marina?

PUBLISHED: 10:19 13 November 2009 | UPDATED: 15:13 06 July 2010

I READ with interest the letter from Elizabeth Getliff (November 6) re the reduced programme at the Marina Theatre, in Lowestoft.

I rather feared that it was just me that sensed a deliberate reduction in the number of quality shows that are proposed.

I READ with interest the letter from Elizabeth Getliff (November 6) re the reduced programme at the Marina Theatre, in Lowestoft.

I rather feared that it was just me that sensed a deliberate reduction in the number of quality shows that are proposed.

Where are the quality performers which we have come to hope and expect?

Thank goodness that we still have the RPO at least for one more year.

Now I am sure that this programme is not the result of the immediate managers of the theatre, they have in the past been both adventurous and innovative in the selection of artists and performers they have attracted, indeed, the Marina has been a model that many larger theatres envy and wish to emulate. It has been run so successfully that most commercial venues would welcome the footfall that the theatre generates, resulting in peripheral income from the bar and refreshments, etc. Don't I recall that the quality of the management team was acknowledged by the industry recently.

It has me wondering whether the Marina is being micromanaged by people whose knowledge of the industry is very limited and whose job it is not to look at the benefits of such an enterprise to the community but purely to react to edicts from above about budget cuts. If this is their job they are not to blame for the lack of adventure. It is the ethos behind the concept that budget cuts are applicable to such a successful enterprise as the Marina.

If this is the case then a relook is urgently called for. It is very short sighted to cut short term expenditure at the expense of long term advantage. As a small businessman I also wonder if a stand alone profit and loss account exists for the theatre. And are the accounts available for examination?

If so, would the examination show that the theatre does generate income and how? Does the income get swallowed up in the morass of administration of the district council and the profits used to support other, less viable projects?

This all rather begs the question as to whether the Marina should be run by Waveney. Is a monolith such as a district council capable of understanding and administrating the day to day requirements of an undertaking such as a theatre?

A solution could be found by the council standing back and allowing the management get on and manage. I am certain that given the go ahead the Marina could regain the prestige the manager and his team have earned for it in the past years.

A better alternative is to relinquish the responsibility and pass the Marina over some form of a theatre trust.

Musicals are not to everyone's taste but such is the quality of the team running the Marina that during the year there has been something for everyone. People queuing round the block to buy tickets.

What is certain, if the council insist on the policy of death by a thousand cuts the Marina will lose its biggest asset, its management team, and then the Marina itself.

LEN JACKLIN

Station Road

Lowestoft


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