Lighthouse Newsletter

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RED CARPET WORLD PREMIERE Be among the first to see Lawrence: After Arabia and raise money for Lighthouse. Details on p9.


INTRO Thanks to the incredible generosity of our donors large and small, our second Big Christmas Appeal smashed the original target, so I am thrilled that Lighthouse has started the year in the best way possible. Now we can look forward with excitement to the wide range of amazing cultural experiences we have to offer to delight and enrich the lives of our audiences. With the on-going help of our audiences, clients and supporters I feel confident we can meet the continuing financial challenges that face us. All of us at Lighthouse believe that the arts are a vital part of living well and we are proud to play our part in bringing opportunities for our community to enjoy entertainment and participate in the arts as well as providing work opportunities in the creative arts sector. We also understand that not everyone has the financial means to see the live events they might wish to. Many young people no longer come to a theatre or concert hall as schools and families are unable to afford tickets and travel costs. For that reason alone, it is impossible to overstate the importance of our fundraising projects and the gifts made to our Christmas Appeal will enable many more people to access the arts. Inside this newsletter we share news of just a few of those we were able to help. As a charity we depend on the generosity of individuals, businesses and grant-making bodies that recognise the value of the arts to the shared community, particularly in these straitened times, and after the success of the Big Christmas Appeal I am once again humbled by the enthusiasm of our community for the arts and the trust placed in us to deliver magical experiences capable of challenging and provoking as well as delighting our audiences.

Lighthouse is a nationally important venue, a unique cultural centre for a wide range of art forms of varying scales. Public funding from the local authority and Arts Council England is absolutely vital to maintaining our programme and our building, but as this accounts for only 18 per cent of our annual income our own fundraising efforts are more important than ever as we continue to demonstrate our value to the communities we serve by providing a rich and diverse range of arts and entertainment, as well as developing our ground breaking education programmes and creative opportunities for participation. We are grateful to all our funders but in particular to the individuals who give so generously to our work with both small and large gifts because they appreciate that the arts are crucial to our society, our communal well-being, the cohesion of our town and region, and our quality of life. We are truly grateful to them especially as we see the difference their support makes to the people it helps.

Elspeth McBain, Chief Executive, Lighthouse


Published prices are inclusive of the ticket booking fee.

AMAZING RESPONSE TO CHRISTMAS APPEAL This year’s Big Christmas Appeal raised a whopping £24,854.14 – more than double the target we set out to achieve. Fundraising Manager Tom Shallaker outlines a few of the ways it is used to help a wide range of people… One of the main ways we select the schools we help is through our partner schools programme. Often these schools are in areas of high economic deprivation, with a large percentage of children qualifying for pupil premium. We’re able to offer a batch of free tickets to the school, discounted tickets or concessions specifically for the pupil premium families. During the last year this included bringing around 200 children from schools across Dorset to the Roundabout stage at the Arts By The Sea festival. We gave free tickets to groups from Winchelsea Community Special School to drama productions in the theatre, and we also paid for tickets to shows for participants in our Young Writers programme – many of whom are from deprived backgrounds or have autism or diagnosed anxiety. The fund also allows us to give tickets to different community groups when we work with them. These can include charities working with young carers or other groups within our society that have experienced disadvantage. In addition to the free tickets that we give away, the Christmas Appeal fund enables us to subsidise a large portion of many ticket costs. Examples of this include our Dementia Friendly screenings – where tickets are heavily discounted to ensure screenings are accessible to people with dementia and their carers.

Published prices are inclusive of the ticket booking fee.

We also subsidise tickets for young people using the Live For Five scheme that helps us develop the next generations of our audiences. Other young people and their families benefit from the relaxed performance at the pantomime and anybody who has worked at those shows will understand some of the challenges that the families attending face. Having the opportunity to experience live theatre together in an environment where they will not be judged and can feel comfortable and safe is invaluable – and without the Christmas Appeal, we simply couldn’t afford to subsidise those tickets to the extent that we do. Without the Christmas Appeal, such events would not be accessible. Once again, in addition to the money raised in donations over the counter at Ticket Office and in the bucket collections over Christmas, we were helped by the generosity of philanthropist Lyn Glass who match funded donations up to a maximum of £5,000. We also received a significant donation from Mike Jeffries, chairman of Poole Arts Trust, and other donations in response to a direct mail appeal. We were able to claim Gift Aid on many of these donations. Thanks to this overwhelming success, over the next year we will be able to pay for around 2,000 free or discounted tickets for local families and children – giving thousands of local people their first ever chance to experience live theatre. This will make a huge a difference and have a profound impact on so many young people’s lives.


WHAT A DIFFERENCE A YEAR MAKES… “It was great; everyone had a wonderful time and we’re really grateful to Lighthouse for making it possible to bring so many young people, as well as our staff and volunteers.” Bev Clarke, a Youth Worker for BCP Council’s Special Educational Needs youth clubs SENsational Mondays (for 11- to 15-year-olds) and SENsational Seniors (16- to 19-year-olds), was speaking after she brought a group of some 220 young people, staff and carers to the relaxed performance of Jack and the Beanstalk. The invite was extended to Poole Short Breaks, a BCP Council community organisation that provides activities for young people with additional needs, and the tickets were subsidised with money raised by the Big Christmas Appeal. However, just a year ago when Bev brought her autistic son and daughter to the relaxed performance of Dick Whittington, she left disappointed. “Although we were glad there was a relaxed performance it felt like a missed opportunity and I was pretty cross, so I raised it with the venue after the show,” says Bev. “That began a conversation about what could be improved, and Lighthouse has been absolutely brilliant in working with us so that more young people can come along.

removed, the doors are left open so audience members can come and go and there’s a break-out quiet space if the show becomes at all overwhelming. “I was concerned the Giant in Jack and the Beanstalk might be a bit scary,” adds Bev, “but my son went out at one point and was able to watch from the door until he felt comfortable enough to return to his seat. “Overall, everything worked really well. We were able to bring volunteers as well as staff and carers, which meant some parents could leave their children with us and be with siblings or just have some respite time. It’s very difficult to balance the needs of everyone in terms of timing, content and noise levels, but this was a massive step forward from last year and we’re already talking about bringing more people next year. “Thank you, Lighthouse! And thanks to everyone who donates to the Big Christmas Appeal – being able to enjoy a live show makes a massive difference to the lives of these young people.”


“Lighthouse is our go-to theatre for activities like this because the lay out of the building works well, the seats are comfortable, and the management and staff are very open to feedback.” A relaxed performance is a specially adapted show for adults and young people who might benefit from a less formal presentation. Typically, the house lights are left slightly up, the sound is reduced, flash effects are


Published prices are inclusive of the ticket booking fee.


A new BBC project could see some of our Lighthouse Young Writers being mentored by established writers to help develop ideas for audio scripts. With 39 audio commissions at stake the New Creatives initiative, jointly funded by BBC Arts Introducing… and Arts Council England, offers an exciting opportunity for emerging talent aged 16-30 to get work made. Shortly before Christmas Lighthouse Young Writers met with Jeremy Routledge, founding director of Calling the Shots, the company that runs New Creatives for the South West region. Having heard the brief, our Young Writers then had the opportunity to pitch their ideas and receive some constructive feedback from Jeremy and the other writers. Pitches ranged from ‘surreal soundscaped fantasy’ to ‘mockumentary’ and drama. If their applications are successful, not only will the Young Writers be mentored by established writers they will also learn about marketing, audio production and distribution. If their applications make it past the shortlist stage, they will be assigned a budget and their work will be recorded and played across all BBC platforms. Young Writers is one of the many projects funded by our Bright Sparks appeal.

BIG CHRISTMAS APPEAL, WHY WE DO IT The annual Big Christmas Appeal is for one reason and one reason only – so that we can give away thousands of free and discounted tickets to children, families and people who live with disadvantage and might otherwise not be able to experience the magic of live theatre. It means that when a local health visitor approached us and asked if we could help a family of seven in need at Christmas, we were able to do so without hesitation. A few weeks before Christmas the family found out they had to leave their home. The Dad has cerebral palsy and two of their children are autistic and it was expected they

Published prices are inclusive of the ticket booking fee.

would find the move extremely challenging. Lighthouse was asked if it could offer a treat the family could look forward to at Christmas, a highlight in what had been a particularly tough time that wasn’t expected to get any easier in the New Year. Using funds raised in the Big Christmas Appeal we were able to offer the entire family tickets to see our pantomime and enjoy an ice cream on us in the interval. Afterwards, Mum posted a glowing review on Facebook and contacted a member of staff at Lighthouse who ‘liked’ the post. In the subsequent conversation she revealed: “It was (an) evening to remember, (our) first pantomime all together and to experience when life can be stressful and hard… theatre is so magical (and) can bring so much joy to people. “Thank you for making the pantomime so magical for our family. We are so grateful you made a wish and (a) dream come true for our family (with) lots of giggles and laughter… a memory that (will) last forever.”


GIVING GOING FORWARDS The success of the Big Christmas Appeal and the ‘brilliant’ response to the launch of Lighthouse Friends are positive signs that the organisation’s fundraising strategy under the guidance of Fundraising Manager Tom Shallaker is having a real impact in our community. That’s the message from Rowena Gaston, Lighthouse Board Trustee and Development Director at Canford School with a background in fundraising for educational charities. “Fundraising for an organisation like Lighthouse has to be a long-term project because you want it to be on-going,” she explains. “The fact that the last Christmas Appeal has built on the success of the year before combined with a brilliant response to the launch of the Lighthouse Friends scheme are signs that everything is moving in a positive direction.” “The key thing has been to communicate that although Lighthouse receives funding and has an income from tickets and other sales, it is not enough to do the work it wants to. By sharing what donations enable Lighthouse to do – providing tickets for people who might not otherwise be able to go to the theatre – donors feel more invested in Lighthouse because they understand the difference that their donations will make.” Drawing back the curtain and allowing donors and supporters to see what goes on at Lighthouse is a cornerstone of the Friends scheme. “For anyone with an interest in the theatre it’s absolutely fascinating so if signing up to Lighthouse Friends means that not only do you save on booking fees, but you also have the opportunity to get closer to how Lighthouse works and support increased access to Lighthouse, the proposition becomes even more attractive.” In this way Lighthouse becomes its own advocate – after 40 years it has become part of Poole’s heritage, a place where memories have been made for several generations. “Yes, but we must remember that people give to people,” adds Rowena. “That is why Tom works so hard to build relationships with donors and why the senior management team is becoming more visible. “Donors need to enjoy giving. Going forward we hope to increase support of Lighthouse through the Friends scheme with our community feeling closer to Lighthouse and encouraged to continue to support this fabulous facility.”


Published prices are inclusive of the ticket booking fee.

WHY I LOVE LIGHTHOUSE Lyn Glass Philanthropist

When we moved to Poole from London I presumed we were moving to a cultural wasteland, then we discovered Lighthouse! At the time, there was an offer that booking four or more events in the programme meant all tickets purchased would be halfprice. So, we booked for every show! What a revelation! If we didn't like the production we could just leave at the interval – although we never did. Only very, very rarely the play we expected to enjoy was just average, but far, far more often some odd sounding production was absolutely brilliant. I will never forget Mark Little's Defending the Caveman. The incredibly diverse range of productions on offer continues to delight – touring companies of all genres large and small; local amateur dramatic, dance and operatic societies; the intimate cinema offering independent, foreign and mainstream films; the world famous Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra concerts, plus a great range of one night events including one-man plays, comedians, celebrity talks, tribute acts, musicians and bands with an excellent monthly showcase of local musicians. There’s something for every taste imaginable. Then there’s the pleasure of strolling around the various gallery spaces during the interval with a proper glass of wine in hand to view constantly changing local artistic endeavour. I regularly preach about the varied Lighthouse programme when I meet someone new to the area and am often thanked profusely later for bringing Lighthouse to their attention. The acoustics, sightlines and comfort are excellent wherever you sit – in Theatre, Concert Hall, Sherling Studio or Cinema. The foyer layout and Beacon cafe are cheerful and welcoming and the staff and volunteers most friendly and helpful, giving the impression they really enjoy their work. Many of my friendships today began through folk I first met at a Lighthouse event. Now I often visit Lighthouse for supper and a show with a bunch of friends and realise now that without Lighthouse my life would hold little meaning. *For the last two years Lyn has very generously matchfunded donations made to the Big Christmas Appeal to the value of £5,000.

Published prices are inclusive of the ticket booking fee.


MAKING FRIENDS Just weeks since the launch of the Lighthouse Friends scheme we’ve signed up our 100th member! Our Friends are already making a vital difference in helping us create opportunities for everyone to participate in the arts. In return for their support Lighthouse Friends enjoy some great benefits including no booking fee of all shows and films, early mailing of the What’s On Guide, a quarterly newsletter and 10% discount at our bars and the Beacon Café, plus:

Good Friends (£35) An invite to an annual Friends’ event; priority booking on selected shows. Great Friends (£120) An invite to two Friends’ events with a guest; priority booking on selected shows; a thank you on Lighthouse website (optional). Best Friends (£500) A personal ticket booking service; an invite for two to the Chief Executive’s annual lunch; an invite to two Friends’ events with a guest; priority booking on selected shows; a thank you on Lighthouse website (optional).


Lighthouse is hosting the red carpet world premiere of the movie Lawrence: After Arabia on 19 May, the 85th anniversary of the death of national hero TE Lawrence following a motorcycle accident near Bovington Camp. Shot in Dorset with a largely local cast and crew supporting a stellar line up that includes Brian Cox, Michael Maloney, Hugh Fraser, Nicole Ansari Cox and Tom Barber Duffy in the title role, the film focuses on the events that led up to Lawrence’s mysterious death. The premiere will be a fundraising event for Lighthouse and as befits the auspicious occasion there is a black tie dress code (optional) while the ticket price includes a souvenir programme with a welcome drink on arrival. All proceeds will directly support our work enriching our communities through shared cultural experiences. More details and tickets at

01202 280000

could help support Lighthouse to £10 provide dementia-friendly events throughout the year


could pay for essential maintenance to our building to ensure we can keep our doors open for everyone in our community to meet, talk and learn


could pay for a family of four to come to a show and experience live theatre together for the first time


could pay for Lighthouse to deliver a free workshop in one of our partner schools