TORCH THEATRE: THE YEAR IN REVIEW
Who would have thought at the end of March this year, we would be unable to open our doors again for the rest of 2020? Covid-19 has impacted us all in many ways, but in true Torch Theatre spirit, our staff, volunteers and creatives have continued to deliver to support you and our local community.
At the start of the first lockdown, we donated unused food and drink to Patch, delivered bags of kindling to our most vulnerable patrons and our technical team, with your support, made over 1000 face shields for keyworkers, nurses and carers.
We have completed essential maintenance to our fly tower helped by additional funding from Pembrokeshire County Council and the Arts Council of Wales. We continue to make improvements across the building, including improvements to accessibility and sustainability, and to make the theatre Covid-ready for when you return.
There has been much needed support through your kind donations and successful funding applications via The Cultural Recovery Fund, BFI/FilmHub Wales and the Arts Council of Wales Stabilisation Fund. Without this injection of vital grant funding, we would not be here today.
Most importantly, we have still been able to entertain you and work with our wider artistic community. We have embraced digital technology to stream shows, kept our Youth Theatre engaged initially via online workshops and then in our specially converted Studio this autumn, with Covid precautions in place.
The Cradle Choir continues to thrive online and has been recognised for its achievements with The National Lottery’s 2020 Portraits of the People - honour for Jennifer Hill from the Welsh National Opera for her dedication in leading the project.
Our Community Choir led by Angharad Sanders, Torch Voices, has kept you singing online. Torch 'Virtual' Voices, and has entertained over 45,000 people from across the world with her weekly singalongs. That is the equivalent to more than 3 full houses at Parc Y Scarlets!
Our theatre community have continued to entertain you from the comfort of your own home, we have enjoyed seeing the likes of Christian Patterson, Owen Thomas & Gareth J Bale, Dion Davis and National Theatre Live productions across the year.
The Torch Theatre's Virtual Christmas Grotto has brought seasonal joy direct into the homes of Pembrokeshire families. It was lovely for Santa and his two elves, Tinsel & Jingles, to take time out of their busy schedule to help spread festive cheer to our local community!
We also picked up an unexpected award! The Torch Theatre has been recognised as a 2020 Travellers’ Choice Winner by Tripadvisor.
In a nutshell, what a year it has been for many reasons and we hope we can do even more in 2021.