Little Theatre Guild – Conference 2014

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This weekend has seen me attending the annual conference of the Little Theatre Guild of Great Britain. I’m the rep for The Miller Centre Theatre.

The Guild is a group of just over 100 community theatres in the UK. We gathered at The Oast Theatre, Tonbridge for 2 days of workshops/talking about theatre/seeing theatre and dealing with the business of the Guild. This was my first time at the conference as I only became my theatre’s LTG rep last September. It was such a great time I can’t wait for next years!

Highlights for me were the workshop where we got to rummage in the extensive wardrobe the Oast Theatre have. Our task was to dress me as a Restoration gent. Finding boots seemed to be the hardest part, but we managed and got everything right. My final touch was a mask to give me a touch of Dick Turpin. A photo will be posted as soon as I get a copy!

Most of all it was nice to meet theatrical friends I’ve garnered over the years, some I’ve been in productions with, others have done the Theatre Studies degree via Rose Bruford. It was great to meet up with them unexpectedly here.

Of special note is our Patron – Sir Ian McKellen. Many charities patrons are simply a valuable figure-head. Ours certainly is, but we’re so fortunate that ours is also very hands on, being present for the AGM and the performance of  Loot the Oast Theatre put on Saturday night. I know I speak for all of us in the LTG by saying a HUGE thank you to Sir Ian, it makes such a real difference having a Patron who is so enthusiastic for our work.

Sir Ian with LTG members

Sir Ian with LTG members

We were also excited to have some observers present. It is unfathomable that there currently is no academic studies on the role/influence/importance of community theatre. That is all changing as a project is underway conducting academic research into community theatre : http://www.amateurdramaresearch.com/ is their website and I look forward to seeing how this develops over the coming years.

It was fabulous to spend time chatting over drinks, sharing stories/experiences and the buzz that our passion for theatre created. We’ve just had our website revamped so take a look at www.littletheatreguild.org.

Here’s to 2015!