Help us by downloading and displaying our Survival Appeal Poster
The Covid-19 crisis has dealt the Marina Theatre a devastating blow and we urgently need your help.
Since we closed on 17th March almost all our income has dried up. We have cut our costs and taken advantage of every government-backed scheme available to us. Public money accounts for less than 10% of our £1.6m annual turnover and we work hard every year for the remaining 90%, through ticket sales, café/bar income and community participation programmes. Proudly relying on earned income as we do, it’s been devastating, not just financially but for our ambitions to bring to you an incredibly diverse programme.
Since becoming a charity nearly 10 years ago, we’ve gone from strength-to-strength. Last year, over 10,000 people bought over 71,000 tickets to 467 live events and film screenings and a further 4,855 took part in our outreach programmes for people of all age, but 2020 has been so very different for all of us and for the Marina.
This year, we’ve cancelled 325 shows so far, with a loss of income of over £421,454. The next few months will be crucial for our survival.
We’ve spent weeks and months exploring all possible options, but now the Marina has been forced to begin a redundancy consultation – we hope that if we act now we will stand a better chance of survival. This wasn’t an easy decision. We employ so many local people but we’ve had to start this process in the hope that we can save at least some jobs and begin looking forward. We have to protect the future of Our Theatre.
Even though government has announced that venues like the Marina can open from 1st August, current social distancing measures mean it just isn’t financially viable for us to do so. Social distancing reduces our audience capacity from 775 to between a maximum of 98 and 196, and smaller groups means these reduce even further. Once you add in the extra staffing and cleaning costs, it just doesn’t add up – for us, or for our performers.
Despite this, we are exploring other re-opening options so that we can present some kind of programme until such time as social distancing measures are fully lifted. However, to deliver any of those, we will need your financial support as all of them will require some level of subsidy.
The loss of the Marina would be devastating, not just to those of us who love theatre but also to our local community and economy. And it isn’t just the live shows that are at risk either, it’s the workshops, the café, and the incredible outreach work which we do with local schools. It’s the Youth Theatres, the Next Stagers, the choir, the ukulele group, and the book club. It’s the community which we’ve built and the friends that we’ve made. We are an important part of our town and many businesses around us rely on our audiences to sustain themselves. We have an important role to play in the recovery of Lowestoft in the months ahead and we can do that with your help.
Setting aside our significant losses this year, we have an opportunity to re-open in the months ahead and save at least a number of key jobs to deliver a limited programme and start planning for a better 2021. To do this, we need to find £100,000 in the coming weeks. We are talking to Lowestoft Town, East Suffolk and Suffolk County Councils and they remain supportive and are looking to help. We hope Arts Council England will also help us to thrive again but we hope you will consider helping us too.
Please donate £5, £10, £20 or whatever you can afford in these difficult times, perhaps more – if you can afford it. You can make a donation today and help the Marina in these financially difficult times.
In these unprecedented times, we have to ask you to help sustain the Marina. Every penny you give will help us prepare to re-open and be at the heart of Lowestoft again, welcoming you back inside.
Chair of the Board of Trustees
Emma Butler Smith
Chief Executive Officer