"A new era is dawning for the Friends of the Maddermarket" says Peter King, Chairman.
From 1 August 2014, the Friends of the Maddermarket are celebrating a fanfare relaunch, but its mission stays the same: to support the Theatre through subscriptions and energetic fundraising. This includes administering the 300 Club, a monthly draw and half-yearly jackpot, from which half the income goes to the winners as cash prizes, and the other half to the Theatre.
“Since it was established in 1996, the 300 Club has raised over £15,000 for the Maddermarket,” says Peter.
In the last 10 years alone, the Friends have funded an air-cooling system and associated electrical work in the auditorium (£40,000), a lighting board (£4,000), back-stage lighting (£3,500) and a new telephone and switchboard system (£1,000).
Originally set up as the Maddermarket Theatre Association in the 1950s, it became known as the ‘Friends of the Maddermarket Theatre’ with an altered constitution in 1974.
“It was a means of involving the audience and other non-actor members in the family of the theatre,” explains Roger Lloyd, Membership Secretary. “People paid a modest sub to belong, and in those days it was very active socially, with lectures, theatre visits, an autumn fair, prize draws and so on.”
However, with the Maddermarket extension and opening of the café-bar around this time, the Theatre was becoming a more social organisation. Friends’ membership remained much the same but attendance at Friends’ events tailed off. The membership profile was changing, and with fewer opportunities for direct contact, particularly after the Maddermarket newsletter, Promptings, went from a monthly to a quarterly mailing, membership began to diminish.
“We realised we needed to engage with our members more, hence the relaunch in 2014,” says Roger, who works alongside Friends of the Maddermarket Chairman, Peter King, and Treasurer, Kate Anetts (Roger is also temporarily filling the vacant Secretary role). “We’ve now introduced two levels of Friends membership – Friend (£10 single, £15 double) and Best Friend (£25),” says Roger.
“We’ve also planned an annual events programme, with free or reduced admission for members. We want to increase the membership, particularly among younger people. Part of our mission is to get more Company members and especially Players involved (currently about one-third of Players are Friends), so they too can show their support.”
To find out more about the Friends of the Maddermarket download a form here
Download a membership form here
The form can be completed online and emailed back to us or can be posted back to us.
You can pay your subscription online by BACS or by sending us a cheque.
To contact the Friends email us on Friends.email@example.com, call in to the Theatre, or telephone 01603 626560 and leave a message for us to contact you.
On behalf of the Theatre's Trustees the Friends also encourage Maddermarket supporters to leave legacies to the Theatre. If you would like to help in this way and would like more information, please leave a message for Susan Seddon, Chair of the Trustees, on 01603 626560 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and she will be in contact with you as soon as possible.