EGM Report

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Many thanks to the members who attended the EGM on 15 October. We were well quorate which demonstrated the affection that members have for the theatre. The EGM was called as the Trustees sadly felt that the future of the theatre is in doubt and members needed to be aware of the situation and appropriate actions are taken. We are certainly not unique among amateur theatres in the area. Along with other companies, there are falling numbers offering to participate in plays, as actors and backstage, there are falling numbers in audiences for adult shows in particular, and our overall membership is the lowest it has been in recent history. BTC also has a building which is struggling after 70 years and we don’t have the financial resources to do all the necessary work our current constitution.

With regards to our current constitution, the first proposal suggested that in the event of BTC one day having to close, the Charity would move to Trust status. Therefore, the money achieved by the sale of the land and property would be invested in a Trust which would be able to support local Youth and Community arts projects.

The second proposal simply removed the current clause stating that a re-convened AGM would be quorate with only one member, which the Trustees suggested might be open to abuse.

The third proposal allowed the theatre to face the challenges of remaining open and engaging with the community. John Drewry, who has twice been Chair and Artistic Director of BTC and on two occasions in the past rescued the Theatre from imminent closure, has agreed to be Honorary Life President of the Theatre. This is a position we have not had since Kath Minchin, one of our Founders, held it until her death. The role will enable John to approach potential funders and supporters from some position of some authority and to bring his creative ideas to the Trustees. It is a non-executive position but does reflect the Trustees commitment to extending the active life of Beckenham Theatre.

So, we are not giving up on BTC and we are exploring, with John and others, means by which we can keep the theatre open and relevant to the local community. We know our Children’s and Youth Theatres are thriving and we want to enable them to continue if possible. But we cannot do it without your support, which is invaluable.

Please do try to attend our AGM in January as we need 30 people to be quorate and move on with this work.

Malcolm Jones Chair of Trustees