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Wigan Little Theatre. Research & History


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What is it? Wigan Little Theatre is an intimate 230-seater theatre and it aims to maintain a very high standard of entertainment in its historic and beautiful building. It’s productions have been praised for being excellent value for money and of a very professional standard. The theatre is an exciting, friendly and vibrant place. Whether you are a regular patron, a new audience member or someone who wants to start getting involved, you can be sure of a warm Wigan welcome.


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What does it do? Wigan Little Theatre is committed to creating exciting, fast-paced Theatre. Using live original music, they strive to bring classical theatre to a contemporary audience. They host Classical Theatre, Pantomimes, Comedy & Guest Speaker Talks in their 240 seater venue.


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Current Identity The current Identity is based around the logo which has a lot of History to it. It has been used for over 50 years now, but it’s time for a change. The original logo must be treated with care and updated in a professional way, that still politely considers the history of it’s original design. As the current has lasted over 50 years, the new logo must reflect the old and be able to be timeless enough to last another 50 years and more.


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Current Website The current Website doesn’t reflect the brand of Wigan Little Theatre at all. In fact, the logo does not even feature on the homepage. The website needs to grow and change along with the updated logo and brand. It needs to fit seamlessly into the Branding and Structure.


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Current Event Promo The current material for events is inappropriate, badly designed and quite frankly, tacky. This does not do the Theatre any favours when trying to reach a new wider demographic. They have to make do with creating these posters themselves or getting friends to due to lack of funding, so the challenge is to create a promotional system, which every even can be eacily placed into a template, to make a more proffesional impact which carries the brand throughout promotion of events as well.


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Creative Challenge.

My challenge is to focus on these three key areas to create a new and updated succesful Brand applied across a Print and Web based idenitity including a Promotional System which can be used as a template for all events at the Theatre.


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Wigan Little Theatre. Brief History


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1943


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The beginning In the autumn of 1943 a small group of nine people met in a small studio near the Parish Church in Wigan to discuss the formation of a play - reading and discussion group, and a programme of Sunday evening meetings was arranged. Two months later a small room was rented and members of the circle paid a shilling a week for a box, to sit on. Early in 1944 these pioneer members appointed a provisional committee to draw up a constitution, and make enquiries for a suitable building on the rapidly expanding societies behalf. Wigan Little Theatre came into being as a Friendly Society.


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Wigan Little Theatre, 1943


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1944


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400 Members In November 1944, Fred Kay produced Arms and the Man and the play was a conspicuous success. Four hundred Wiganers were now members and the financial success of the productions in following months, together with monies raised by private efforts, enabled the pioneers to plunge.


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1946


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4 Plays A Year In 1946, four plays a year were being staged. One-act evenings and various social devices helped to provide the maximum interest for members.


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New Diggs In the same year, an old abandoned cinema had been taken over by the theatre group and was reached by a central passage between semi-detached shops with accommodation over. The dividing wall was demolished to provide the theatres long basement, foyer and lounge rooms. A passage below the auditorium was hacked out to lead to dressing rooms below stage, and the stage itself extended outward into the auditorium to make an effective area of thirty feet by eighteen, with a plastered cyclorama at the back. In addition, two attic rooms became a lighting and sound gallery with space for film projection.


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1948


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Making Money By February 1948, productions had raised £850, interest free loans had been encouraged to the tune of £820, members’ private efforts had brought in £1,450 and the scheme by which our supporters endowed seats in the theatre at £5 each had produced £500. In all, when the theatre opened, £3,500 had been raised to cover the deposit on the building and necessary alterations amounting to £2,500. This was followed by a generous interest free loan of £4,000 by Mr. F. T. Hanson, which put the theatre on a solid footing.


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Officially Open Therefore, it was with real optimism that on Saturday, March 6, 1948, Fred Fairclough as Chairman, could call on the Mayor for that year, Councillor E. Maloney, to declare the Wigan Little Theatre open. The secretary read many messages of goodwill from prominent persons in the amateur movement up and down the country, and Mr. Phillip Robinson of the BBC, and a founder member of the Bradford Civic Theatre, who had given extensive advice to us on our constitution and ways and means to find funds, made this wish: “May you always get the plays you want, the actors you need and the audiences you deserve�.


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“May you always get the plays you want, the actors you need and the audiences you deserve�.


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Just the beginning... As thousands of patrons will verify, an action packed fifty odd seasons and four hundred and something productions were to follow during which Wigan Little Theatre has firmly established itself as one of the leading amateur theatres in Britain. In 1989 a £200,000 face lift helped to make the “old Alliance” a premises to be even more proud of. Since then Wigan Little Theatre has continued to update its technical equipment, a totally refurbished and modernised Box Office being the latest development.


Brief 01 _ Current Identity & Brief History