Tuesday, 18 February 2020

Theatre back in the black

Theatre back in the black

THE Kenton Theatre in Henley made a small profit during its last financial year, according to accounts lodged with the Charity Commission.

The New Street venue recorded a surplus of £8,172 in the 12 months to August 31, 2018. This compared with a loss of £6,129 in the previous year, the first deficit in five years.

The total net income from lettings, productions and the operation of the theatre increased from £17,221 in 2017 to £40,531 in 2018. 

This was largely due to an increase in the revenue from productions, which rose from £10,974 in 2017 to £18,220 in 2018.

The theatre also received £16,831 from its restoration levy, a charge on tickets that goes towards improving the Grade II-listed building.

It made £14,267 in subscriptions, donations and grants compared with £13,039 in the previous year. 

Its friends scheme made £2,950 and donations totalled £11,317. There was also an increase in the bar income from £38,669 the previous year to £41,670.

But there was also a £14,452 increase in management and administration costs to £85,752, reflecting the decision to make the general manager a full-time role. The costs for the general and programme managers increased from £24,369 to £31,556.

The previous year’s loss was due to a fall in income and the expenditure on staff doubling.

At the start of that period long-serving managing director Wendy Bowsher stepped down and was replaced by general manager Zsuszi Lindsay, who announced her departure after just four months.

The role was then taken over on a shared basis by Tom Ryan and Paula Price-Davies. The former stood down in July 2018 to focus on his role as programming director of the Henley Literary Festival. Ms Price-Davies left last summer.

The loss came despite setting a new sales record for the 2016 Christmas pantomime Sleeping Beauty, which sold more than 4,400 tickets.

It also contrasted with the Kenton’s accounts for 2015/16, when it made a profit of £21,377, and with earlier profits of £41,620 in 2014/15, £33,680 in 2013/14 and £5,200 in 2012/13.

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