Sue’s Blog

Theatre is always tough and without substantial funding it’s a tricky old business to sustain but ERT benefitted from new visitors to Hull City of Culture 2017 resulting in an uplifting year.  As we enter our fourth year, we are more familiar with regular patterns that have evolved since we opened and we are confident our artistic programme has taken on a rhythm to mark the expectations of our audiences and drive our ambition forward.

Someone recently told me any organisation that survives four years is absorbed into the history of its community and people forget it hadn’t always been there. For ERT, the positive effect of such familiarity is audiences have begun to trust our choices and take chances on less well-known shows.

We can never take the theatre for granted though because it solely relies on the effort of community volunteers. What we can do, is ensure our product is the best quality and a quick reminder of last year’s shows might serve as a reminder of the progress made in 2017.

Adrian Rawlins’ production, ‘The Night Season’, last March showcased his exceptional talent as a director. His attention to detail, evident to thrilled audiences who were astounded by the polished production, was completed by the triumphant set designed by Ed Ulyart – craftsman extraordinaire. Fortunately, we don’t have to wait too long to see Adrian’s work again.  In March, he treats us to the warm and very funny play Good People.

ERT hosted Stage4 Beverley Festival in February and New Paths Music in April, both of which will be returning this year. Festivals always create a different vibe in the theatre whereby a sense of anticipation for the next live performance lasts throughout the weekend. Be sure not to miss the buzz.

John Godber’s ‘Shakers’ really did stir some audiences with its fast-paced humour and Jane Thornton’s ‘Wuthering Heights’ was a masterclass in making the classics seem simple. John Godber’s Company is back in May with the eagerly awaited ‘Seasons in the Sun’.

We even managed a new musical bringing in 125 new customers to the theatre with It’s Different for Girls, produced by She Productions.

How could I finish without mentioning 2017’s major success, ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’? The magic of Jake Smith’s direction wowed audiences and to say we are delighted is an understatement.

Why not join in the fun and help make 2018 a wonderful year at ERT?

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