Monday, November 14, 2011

Use the Mowlem

Congratulations to the Mowlem on the wonderful article in the Echo!

http://tinyurl.com/cn3b366



Posted by Anonymous to swanageview at 14/11/11 7:21 AM

54 comments:

Anonymous said...

The article is full of the usual self-congratulatory tone one gets from the trustees. When did they last ask the people of Swanage what they wanted at the Mowlem? How do they know they are doing a good job if they don't ask?

Anonymous said...

I'm not one to criticise but it isn't the corner stone of the community, 20 000 visitors doesn't seem a lot considering how busy swanage can get and when talking about future plans and upcoming events, it may be good to know what they are.

Reece de Ville said...

People do try and use The Mowlem. You then charge them a fortune. For example, the shameless way you've charged the Children In Need group top perform on a charity night.

There's community spirit for you.

They've also knocked back every attempt by the 50/50 club to put on great shows at no risk to the venue. Also turning down free equipment because they don't want to be seen as a place that doesn't have any equipment...Hmm. Currently, there's one microphone for people to use. Pointless for bands and visiting acts.

We've tried, and failed with The Mowlem. So, there'll be fab shows on at the Legion and hopefully Durlston Castle instead.

Lets do something positive and not mention this place on here again. Enough time has been wasted with venomous responses and comments coming back from the trustees.

You missed your chance guys, sorry.

The Postman said...

"They've also knocked back every attempt by the 50/50 club to put on great shows at no risk to the venue. Also turning down free equipment because they don't want to be seen as a place that doesn't have any equipment.." Is that right? Have they stopped the 50/50 efforts? Have they refused to accept free equipment?!

Anonymous said...

Good point, Postman.From the comments posted here previously I had assumed that the Trustees were all doddery old pensioners, but the ones in the photo seem a lot younger.

On the face of it 20,000 does not seem a lot, but that's about 400 a week so perhaps not that bad,although by no means great and I think anyone putting on a week long show would hope for a lot more.

Reece de Ville said...

Yep. A PA system was offered to them which they turned down.

They have asked the 50/50 club to put on big name acts in other venues to see if they're popular before the Mowlem will book them. Even though this is at no risk to them as the 50/50 club will pay for it. So, sell out the legion with a big name act, for example, and they won't be back here for 6months to a year. So what use is that to the Mowlem? Also, people won't want to pay for the same act twice in a short amount of time.

Constant nasty letters and stalling has been incredibly frustrating. The adverts that have gone out from Bale & Co are a direct response - 'nothing to see here, everythings fine' etc. 'All it takes is time and money' - well, we want to give you acts and spend money on the place, but we really don't have the time for the nastiness.

Sally Maltby said...

Talk about talking it up - you can fool most of the people most of the time........what's happening with the 50/50 club is just par for the course...

Houseofmowlem said...

I think the two pictures would have been better combined and shown the trustees with their heads in the sand

Anonymous said...

Is the trust very cliquey? I mean if I joined with loads of brave new ideas, would I get heard?

Anonymous said...

You can't join, that's the problem

Baggy said...

Lovely article, but it's hardly a true representation of my experiences there.

I've banged on about it before, but other charitable venues can book big names - and they have big overheads too.

The trustees need to get out of the town and see what Christchurch, Verwood and Sturminster Newton offer their residents.

I'm not saying it's easy, but if you book the right acts, people will come. If you create the right atmosphere, people will come.

A quick search of acts in the area...Elkie Brooks, Richard Digance, Stephanie Cole, Patricia Hodge, Bill Paterson, Colin Fry, Glenn Miller Orchestra, The Manfreds.

What about Artsreach? Can they bring anything into the town?

I could go on, but instead I'm off out.

Houseofmowlem said...

Well Iv'e added my 10 pence worth on the comments

The Postman said...

It's not true that you can't become a trustee. You could ask, and they (the other trustees/the board) might agree to have you. But if you're serious, I see no reason why they wouldn't have you: after all they are low on numbers at the moment, I believe.

Anonymous said...

The trust is not elected or publically accountable. When there is a vacancy the trustees invite someone to join them. Well intentioned people with good ideas have been rebuffed for decades. Swanage50/50 is the latest of many to find it impossible to do business with the trust. Even progressivly minded trustees have faced the same frustration. As one put it, about his resignation, you can only bang your head on a wall for so long.

Anonymous said...

So it sounds easier to get blood out a stone than to get onto the Trust and be heard.

To generate income I'd make more use of thr cinema screen when the towns busy with holiday makers.

Maybe two different films running concurrently and two showings a day.

Let's face it, a family holidaying here have to go to Tower Park to see a film, and it aint cheap.

Give them a viable alternative and they could well rake it in. Save one or two nights each week for shows or whatever.

Thats just one idea that could help. It's not perfect but there you go.

Reece de Ville said...

I have a friend who is manager of the Bournemouth Pavillion and would love to get some of his acts to come to play maybe a warm up slot or a few nights at The Mowlem. But I know the reception I'd get. Essentially, unless they've booked it themselves, they think you're treading on their toes and telling them what to do.

It's so sad. Over the years on this message board, you can see people really want to help their local theatre - to help them with fundraising, putting on great shows and raising the profile of the place. But time and time again, we're told to keep our noses out of OUR place (yep, they keep banging on about it being a community place).

Frankly, if all you can talk about in a full page feature in the Echo is your wonderful community room and not the calibre of the forthcoming acts, amount you seat or reviews of previous stunning shows, you really have a problem. It's not a village hall, yet it's run the same way.

Many groups are now dropping out of supporting the theatre - a shame, but ultimately necessary. The only way they'll listen to the people of Swanage is when ticket sales dwindle to a standstill, and the local groups use an alternative venue. How about using Harmans Cross Village hall? Not ideal, but close to town and doesn't cost thousands to put a show on....

Anonymous said...

Do the trustees read this?

Anonymous said...

HERE THEY GO AGAIN , WHAT A LOAD OF RUBBISH, YEARS AND YEARS OF NOTHING IDEAS, WHAT IS GOING ON THERE ?? MAKES YOU SUSPECT SOMETHING IS NOT QUITE RIGHT HERE??? ASK THE PEOPLE OF THE TOWN !!!!WHAT DO WE WANT !!!!A DRAB AND NOTHING PLACE , IT WILL SURELY DIE IN THE END . THE 50/50 CLUB AT LEAST TRIED, THANK YOU ALL FOR TRYING, LETS SHOW THE TRUSTEES THAT THIS THEATRE WAS OBVIOUSLY NOT FOR THE PEOPLE OF THIS TOWN IN THERE EYES.

Anonymous said...

Did you have to type all it capitals and with lots of !!!! and ???

Awful to read.

Anonymous said...

It's time the Mowlem started getting positive comments like the blues festival does

blues festival

Steve Darrington said...

Thank you Anonymous for the compliment, but it's not reasonable to compare the Mowlem Theatre with Swanage Blues Festivals.
Our blues weekends are big Town Parties with free admission.
As for Swanage Blues not using the Mowlem, just because we haven't in the past, doesn't mean that when the time is right and we can agree mutually beneficial terms, there's no reason why the Mowlem couldn't be involved in the future.
It took the Grand Hotel a few years before joining in, and now the Grand is one of the main sponsors.

Nickthefish said...

So is the 50/50 club finished? Will we get our £50 back?

Steve Darrington said...

Ahoy Nickthefish...

Writing as a mere member of the 50/50 Club myself, I received an email from Jason, treasurer@swanage5050club.co.uk on Sunday 13th November, which read:

"Dave has a proposition for an act to put on in Swanage in March 2012. He would like to put it to as many members as can attend the Royal British Legion on Thursday 17th at 7pm.

"All members in attendance will be able to vote for or against the idea, if you are currently receiving this email but have not yet paid your membership, I would be very happy to take payment on the night!"

I hope that is of use to you.

The Postman said...

Worth checking out Durslton Castle as a possible venue (opens soon).

Reece de Ville said...

We've taken a look at Durlston and there's some nice little spaces. Should be able to have a band or comedy night in the cafe space and there's a lovely outdoor area that overlooks the sea - perfect for acoustic sessions and film screenings.

Of course, it doesn't have the Mowlem capacity, but I think it could be a lovely little venue that people will be more than willing to walk up the road for. Oh, and it has a car park! So potential for local and countrywide visitors.

As a new dad, i've been to a few baby screenings at the Plaza in Dorchester, so I'd be looking to run a similar thing in Swanage, maybe on a Saturday morning. Would be ideal at the Mowlem, but I'm not paying ridiculous rates and quite frankly don't have the time to deal with arguing. So will have a chat with Durlston and see what they say - also, would be great to run a regular film club. Keep it cheap, but keep it fun.

Nickthefish said...

It's just my particular concern was to get the Mowlem up and running. The British Legion and the like seem to be able to organise themselves. I have attended race nights there and the comedy club which were great. I tend to use Poole Arts centre far more than the Mowlem at the moment. Also, not wishing to be too contradictory, I had occasion to rent the committee room last year which was far too cheap IMHO!

Reece de Ville said...

Hi Nick. The 50/50 club hasn't totally given up on putting shows on at The Mowlem, but it seems very very unlikely this will ever happen given the rules they've laid down.

I'm afraid no-one can deal with the current trustee set-up (David Bale appears to be the constant thorn in the side) and try as we like, how can we ever put up new acts when then rules change every five minutes? What's needed is a meeting where everyone - trustees included - attend and a formal agreement is drafted. One that has to be adhered to on both sides. We've tried to do this, but to no avail.

Just to clarify Nick, not a problem if you want your money back. The putting shows on at other venues was an alternative idea to get things finally moving in Swanage whilst we wait for The Mowlem to wake up.

Reece de Ville said...

And Poole Lighthouse is fantastic! Exactly what we should aspire to. I know we're a small town in comparison, but at least we can aim a little higher than 'do you remember the war' nights and tribute acts.

Something for all ages.

Nickthefish said...

Ok I'll go with that. Hope to see you Thursday.

Anonymous said...

Hello,
New to the town and very interested in the local theatre scene. Every comment on here seems very negative. Just from attending the children in need show on saturday night I can see there is more than one microphone in the theatre. And there seemed to be a lot of people present. Do the people on here have old axes to grind or are they regular patrons of the theate.

Reece de Ville said...

Well, everyone on here has been to shows, but the Mowlem won't listen to people with new ideas. This has been going on for years, and as the 50/50 club is new, these aren't just old axes being grinded.

It can be a great venue, and the only reason we're negative is that we despair on how the place is being run. People have offer help and advice for years and had it thrown back in their face.

We're trying to do something positive by looking at other venues now as they're just not interested in putting on acts the town want to see.

Oh, and it was probably quite full due to there being so many cast family members in the audience. Same as with local am dram and panto. Outside of that, the place struggles to sell 100 seats.

Anonymous said...

In fairness it has to be acknowledged that most theatres in small towns survive on trbute acts and amateur shows. What seems to set the Mowlem apart is that they are happy with this situation. A local amateur theatre for local amateurs is all they aspire to be and anytihng else is a threat.

Anonymous said...

What is sad is for something that claims to he for the town/community is actually something to massage and boost the ego of a select few.

David Furmage said...

I reckon it should be pulled down to the shops level. It's an eye sore inside and out. It's old probably like those on the trustees and out of date. No bar no restaurant , it's embarrassing to say the least:(

Anonymous said...

I agree that it's as ugly as sin but you don't need to pull it down. Just put people in charge who a)can take advice/criticism and utilise it and b)know what they're doing.

A good restuarant is a must. Sea Salt was an unmitigated disaster.

Anonymous said...

The mowlem trust do not run the restaurant or the shops. They have no say over how well or badly they are managed. All they do is collect the rent. You can not hold them responsible for the cards in the card shop or for the food in the restaurant, or ideed, whether the firm that owns it bothers to open. Whether those who set the place up in its modern form were wise to lease out the restaurant rather than run it in house is another matter but given the criticism of their ability to run a theatre you might well conclude this was the best option.

Nickthefish said...

I must have posted this link up 10 times. It's a local architect's excellent makeover:

http://www.rbstudio.co.uk/rbstudio/mowlem_swanage.html

Anonymous said...

Morning Nickthefish
I have tried several times to use the link that you have posted but to no avail - it keeps coming up page not found!! I have tried substituting the.l for.1 but this doesn't work either!!! Any ideas or other links to this???

Nickthefish said...

You try searching for
RB studio
(architects, Poole)
projects
other
Mowlem
hope this helps

Anonymous said...

It took me a couple of goes but it worked. Tell your browser to try again.

Anonymous said...

Ahhhhh!!!!
that's where I went wrong LOL!!
I've now smacked it's bottom (the tower that is) told him off, caressed the monitor and do you know - it still didn't work!!
I've just pulled out the power plug and left him to sulk for a while and I will try it later - I do hope it will be worth the wait !????! I will let you know - I know you will all be dying to know how I get on

Anonymous said...

http://www.rbstudio.co.uk/rbstudio/mowlem_swanage.html

Anonymous said...

That's weird - the blog is cutting off the .html suffix at the end of the link


www.rbstudio.co.uk/rbstudio/mowlem_swanage.html

Dave T said...

I have just read some of the comments about the Mowlem and need to address a few of the issues. I am a big supporter of the theatre. It is the only venue in town that we have a chance of brining name acts to play. It is also the right place for these acts to play. Some time ago at a Friend Of The Mowlem meeting, the Trustees stated that they could not pay guarantees for acts therefore limiting the prospects of attracting 'names' to the town. Because of this the 5050 Club came about. 50 people putting in £50 each to raise some money towards to try and tempt a bigger name to play the theatre. Also if we were to put on a show, a percentage of our proffits would go towards the purchase of additional equipment to be used in the theatre. The idea was put to the Trustees and we had a very positive response, indeed all of them apparently liked the idea. If we could enhance the shows whist providing equipment so much the better. However, something changed in the trustees opinions.

The 5050 Club have now been informed that we are to deal with the theatre booker. We met him recently to be told that because the 5050 Club have no history in promoting, and as the theatre had never put on shows at the price we were talking about (£20+), that we would have to conduct market research and put on shows elsewhere first. Our only theatre in town, wants us to put on shows at venues such as a caravan park or local school.
The 5050 Club met recently and voted to carry on and put on shows elsewhere. We hope to start regular events from Easter next year. The clubs aim is still to put on events at the theatre, but on a purely personal level, I would rather put on shows at the Legion where any profits generated help a worthy cause.
I'm sure that the 5050 Club will issue a statement soon. Watch this space.

Dave T said...

There will be a Comedy Show & 70's inspired disco at the RBL on saturday 17th December. Tickets available from the Legion & Swanage TIC priced £13. Maybe next year at the Mowlem?

Anonymous said...

Isn't it nice when you stop banging your head against a brick wall?!!!

Anonymous said...

Why not this year at the Mowlem?

Dave T said...

I like to work with people that like to work with me. Stress free & no brick walls involved. It's a show that suits the room at the Legion rather than the theatre anyway. It also has a bar where the profits go to helping servicemen & women in need. The bar (if we had one) at the theatre would be taken by the Mowlem and we would have no say about where the money would be spent.

Anonymous said...

I suppose the fact that the Mowlem has identified someone as a booker is a step forward but somehow I doubt that they have been given targets for increasing its use. What comes over is that the booking conditions the trust thinks it has to demand by virtue of its charitable status make the proposition quite unattractive to most professionals. By a remarkable coincidence its the children's and amateur's shows which are able to meet the conditions that the trust is most proud of hosting as we can see in their annual reports to the charity commission. It is hard to see how they can break out of this constraint, apart of course from putting the commercial side of running the theatre in the hands of a non charitable body, but that would mean they could not play at secret societies with it and thats half the fun.

Anonymous said...

Question: Is the aim of the club now radically altering and the Mowlem is no longer to be the beneficiary of surplus funds raised from the shows put on by the club??

Sorry Dave T your bit about the Legion and "worthy Causes" has confused me.

James B

Jason Haiselden said...

The Mowlem has asked the 5050 club to demonstrate that we can put on shows and that there is the demand. We have now booked our first show, details comming soon. It will take place at the RBL and any profits will be retained by the 5050 club towards further shows and hopefully bat some point in the future we will be able to work more directly with the Mowlem.

Dave T said...

FAO anonymous.
The worthy causes point referred to the money made on the bar going towards the British Legion and the work the RBL does. It will be down to ticket sales as to wether the 5050 club makes money as all our members are aware off the risks involved in promoting.

Anonymous said...

Dave T, you sound clueless.

Anonymous said...

Good Morning,

Ok thanks for the replies Dave & Jason, they were informative to a point, but they didn't actually answer the question that I asked!!!

FYI Dave I haven't set up my account on here but will do later today but I did sign my name!! I am not "anonymous"

James B