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A reply from the Almeida

October 16, 2014

In response to my entry about the person who didn’t want to go to the Almeida, the venue’s Marketing Officer Simone Finney kindly allows me to publish the following reply that was sent,

Thank you again for your message and for taking the time to share your thoughts with us. Welcoming existing audiences and inviting new ones to the Almeida is an important and ongoing part of our work.

It is worth noting that the term ‘Development’ and the names listed under Development in the theatre programme are actually our fundraising team. A team this size is required in order to raise the £1.5m a year, more than 30% of our income, which is required to ensure that we can continue to create the work we do.

We are aware that the architecture of the theatre can be intimidating, and we work hard to address this with targeted projects that invite and encourage new people to visit us. We also hope that our ushers provide a friendly face in the foyer when people arrive, and we receive consistently positive feedback about the helpfulness of our staff. 

We know that additional signage in the foyer is needed, and we’re currently looking into updating this in a way that will be clearer for our patrons.

We have recently begun to explore new avenues of audience engagement that take a more person-to-person approach, as you suggest, connecting with relevant community groups directly to invite them to the Almeida. 

In May, we hosted a morning tea and theatre tour in conjunction with Angel AIM, who are focused on creating an age-friendly town centre in Islington. For Little Revolution, we reached out to a range of groups in Islington and Hackney, including Islington Pensioners Forum and the St Mary’s Path Housing Association.

Almeida Projects, our creative learning team, partners with schools in Islington and surrounding boroughs to give local people the opportunity to participate in our work and be part of our audience from a young age. In November, we are taking the production of Our Town into two schools in Bexley and Ealing, two boroughs without professional theatres. Projects like these allow us to take our theatre directly to new audiences.  

We work hard to communicate with local community through Islington First, Under 30s, and our Young Friends scheme. We reach a growing number of people through these initiatives; our hope is that, as audience members like yourself have positive, welcoming experiences at the Almeida, they will share these with others who may feel hesitant about visiting for the first time.  

We hope this information is helpful, and that you will continue to feel comfortable sharing your experiences of the Almeida with other people who may not have been. Thanks again for taking the time to write in, and we look forward to welcoming you to the Almeida again soon.

 

With Best Wishes,
Simone Finney 
Marketing Officer

 

If that doesn’t prove what a friendly place they are, I don’t know what will! Thanks to Simone and team, it really is appreciated.

 

 

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