Paul Fletcher

Little Things The Chairman Should Know

This guide was written by Chair Paul Fletcher in 1980, and the original can be found in the Archive. The unfathomable numbering system and the unbelievably confident handwriting from an age where word processors weren't the norm, as well as the mysterious power of Audry Price, are amazing.

Part I: Summer Term


We tried Wass, Easingwold (I think) and finally Heslington- but all had to refuse for one reason or another except Heslington, and they wanted a live fee so we actually sang the concert on the grass outside L.C.H.. It was quite well-attended- collected ~£12 for our charity (Fuller Life Action Group).

Also hired Education Dept Minibus and went to Naburn and "did our thing" for them. They were most grateful.

Society Meal

Took party of ~40 to 'The Willow' Coney Street, at around the same time as we did the concert.

Part II: Vacation

1. Societies Mart

(Today known as Freshers' Fair- ed.) Get there early to get a good table and really "jazz it up".

2. Coffee Evening

Has long since turned into "Cheese & Wine" but this too was scrapped because of lack of funds etc. (moan, groan!).

Part III: Autumn Term

2. Auditions

For the first time we had two audition night [sic]- one for men, one for ladies. This helped the workload for those on the panel (Director, Musical Director, choreographer, Audry Price & Husband). Tapes were made of auditions to help the decision making, but these were destroyed immediately after use.

3. Costumes

All hired from Homburgs, Call Lane, Leeds. A bit pricey, but very good. Get your orders in quickly- you get better costumes that way. This means taking chorus measurements weeks 4 & 5 or so.

4. Orchestral Scores

This year D'Oyly Carte lost out first letter which caused great panic 1 week before performance! Could not be helped, but don't leave ordering too late.

5. Backdrops

None used this year.

Part IV: Spring Term

1. Posters

Done by Sharpe & Powell, Tanner Row. 300 done and this was about the right number. Printers very helpful with the drawing (by Rebecca Martin) etc. and very reasonable (£22 or so).

1.2. Outlets

Party of 6 or 8 helpfuls got rid of a lot of posters in the city about 2-3 weeks before performance- city split into 3 areas and a couple of people to each area. Most shops & restaurants etc. were quite pleased to put one up for us. Society members also took them to outside areas. On campus posters put up 2 weeks before and slashed. You will find they get buried under other posters in a couple of days so attention & replenishment is helpful.

2. Tickets

Done by Viking Press. We were forced to go here because of Christmas holidays being upon us and we wanted them in before then. (Sharpe & Powell do not do tickets. )

Do not advise you to go here again. We had 400 done for each performance (not charity) and it cost (~£33). Added to which 400 was really not enough. Suggest at least 500, maybe 600 per night to cover all eventualities (e.g. stampedes etc.).

2.1 Outlets

Sound Effect now charge 10% plus 15% VAT on that! S.U. shop charge 5%.
Cost of ticket £1, 60p OAPs/ children.
Party rates: groups of 10 & over: 80p
Groups of 20 & over: 60p.
(Beware of giving away too many complimentaries!)
(Rough rule: If they profit from us, don't give 'em one.)

Children's & O.A.P.'s Performance

Many placed invited (see Secretarial records) but not very many actually came. Suggest you press this harder for cast morale as much as anything.

Generally they require confirmation of booking to avoid any trouble (esp. Derwent Junior School!) No charge made, but a refiring (? -ed.) collection was made because some teachers used this as a free evening out (i.e. sending 5 kids, 10 teachers!).

3. Programmes

Done by Woodcock and Pearson who were very helpful: reproduced the poster on the cover etc. Also quite reasonable: 2000 for £48 (=2.5p each). We charged 10p and this was thought to be very reasonable.

Actually only 500-600 or so were sold- 2000 is far too many.

800-1000 should be plenty!

3.1 Ads

None included in programme. This muse be organised well before Christmas for it to actually happen.

3.6 Programmes for Thursday Perf.

No special ones done- the 10p ones used & sold here as well. The O.A.P.'s were glad to buy them!

1. What's On

Need to contact them very early.

2.1 Y.E.P. Adverts

Again lots of time needed. They did put an article in "Amateur Stage" for us- the director should contact them about being interviewed.

2.2 Press Coverage

Despite constant bullying they failed to come- excuse: we didn't send them tickets! Please send them tickets and repeated reminders.

5. Costume Parade

Illegal and difficult to organise, therefore scrapped!

III. Booking Central Hall

1. Copy of booking form

Should be with the director (or Secretary). Copy of booking verification (received 2 weeks before performance) in Chairman's file.

1.3 Bar

Has always been a source of loss to the society, so we had ice-creams (contact EBOR), cans of drink and coffee. See Audry Price about drink!

Front of House

Contact Tricia Wallam (V). She was very good and is interested in doing the same again for us.

Part VI: Party

Got a non-committee, but very committed member (Jane Hitch) to do all the organising.

1.1 Room

Used Alcuin Dining Room. This was thought of as being too large, but was in fact excellent for our purpose.

Well that seems like about it. Use these notes in conjunction with the typed booklet.
Perhaps this whole thing could be reconstructed and brought up to date sometime?

(Sorry about missing last page, which is constantly referred to- I have been told the Secretary might have it somewhere in his books or something.

-Paul Fletcher
Chairman 1979-80

P.S. Useful contacts:
MAKEUP: Rebecca Martin (W)
FRONT OF HOUSE: Tricia Wallam (V)
PROMPT: Jane Knox
ART: Gill Douglas (St. Michael-le-Belfrey)
PROPS: Bridget Gunson (V).

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