Play8-80 and Lady Birdy

How the money was spent?

Karl McClelland from FanStarters began making the website but ran into some personal difficulties during April-August.  He has now left Bath and lives in Dublin.  As it is not yet finished I have only given him half the amount he asked for which is £250 and am withholding the rest until it is finished.  The website is up and you can visit it but there are many holes in it and a lot of it still needs updating and editing.

I spent approximately £800 on Lady Birdy which included the set, flyer design and printing, room hire at The Victoria Hall and comedian’s wages. Each Lady Birdy gig I did I lost approximately £150 due to the cost of the room and having to pay the comedians.  I found it very difficult to promote and not having a completed website did not help the matter.  I found people in Radstock were not particularly interested.  My last gig in April only had 18 audience members. A headliner costs £100-150, support £50 and room hire £120, with tickets at £10 each this money came directly from my purse.

Play8-80 made approximately £1200 once the room hire and flyers and printing costs were spent.  The actual play cost me approximately £800 which included room hire for the dress rehearsal and tech and paying lighting technicians. It was packed out and 100 people came but this money went back into the room hire costs at only £3 a ticket.  Originally I was told the council wanted a Pantomime by George Hill yet this cost me valuable time and money and only a few people helped such as Caroline Green, Miles Daffin and Simon Allen.  It was a success but I felt I lacked support from the council who asked for a Panto in the first place.  After the play most of the cast left to go and be in other plays as they knew we would not write another one until the following year but do small projects until then which they did not seem interested in. This left me out of pocket as I was paying for expensive room hire but the money from so few members was not covering it.

Then I finally found employment in April and knew I would not have the time to continue with Play8-80 Drama so stopped it in July.  I started full time work in August and was booked in to do two Lady Birdy gigs, one in October and one in February. My headliner cancelled for the second time two weeks before the gig and I didn’t have the time or energy to replace her so I cancelled it. I was almost relieved this decision was made for me as was worried about losing money again.  I have cancelled February at the Victoria Hall as well as I simply can’t afford the room hire and they are not interested in a door split.  Also it is not in half term as I thought and I work Saturdays so would not have the time to do it.

In terms of taking Drama to the elderly the doors I knocked on were not opened no matter how hard I tried.  I sent letters to every local care home, visited Curo with a proposal and offered free workshop taster sessions but even though people said it was a great idea I don’t think there was any money or desire for it which was a real shame as I still believe this would improve their lifestyles and enhance their wellbeing.

My current job is very demanding and I work six days a week, there is no time to continue with Play8-80 in its current capacity so I need to rework it for something in the summer when I am on holiday such as summer workshops for 8-80 year olds, not sure where as Victoria Hall room hire is too expensive.  Karl is happy to change the website accordingly but it is very difficult to find time when I am in charge of a drama department in a very busy school and he is in Dublin.  I took Lady Birdy to Timsbury Fun Day in my camper van in the summer so I may develop this as it doesn’t cost me anything and I can go anywhere.

What impact the money made?

There is a website, although unfinished and now there are changes to make to it when Karl and I both have the time to do so.  When this is finished I’ll give him the other £250 and hope to keep the brand going but in a different capacity. Also one which does not cost me money as I cannot afford to keep spending money on this project.