A Message From Our President
In May 2012, when my wife Margaret was informed that I had been elected as President of Bingley Little Theatre for the next four years, she generously said that she was delighted for me, but worried for the Little Theatre! If she had known the Theatre as well as I have now come to know it, she would have been much more confident, for rarely have I come across such an enthusiastic, hard-working and utterly committed group of people as those who are responsible for running and supporting BLT. What a daunting honour to represent 400 or so totally dedicated members of such a thriving organisation!
I say "daunting" for two reasons: Firstly, because of the quality of my illustrious predecessors, over the last 47 years, ranging from Sir Donald Wolfitt in the 1960s to (latterly) the incomparable Donald Clough and then his talented wife Patricia, and, until 2012, my predecessor, the vastly experienced and irreplaceable Tony Cross - whose inspiration, vision and drive created the second reason why I describe the position as daunting - namely the challenge of taking over full responsibility for the Bingley Arts Centre. This is no longer the Council's venue which BLT occasionally hire for our eight annual productions - but is now a thriving Community Centre, which is adding yet another challenge to the already multi-skilled Management Team at BLT - that of Property Management in all its facets.
This therefore adds yet another dimension to the wide range of activities and challenges which my predecessor set out in his President's Message. As Tom Lehrer memorably said "Plagiarise! Let no-one else's work evade your eyes"! - so it is simply because I could not improve on the wording of Tony's message that I now reproduce the list (which could almost comprise the words of a typically Gilbert & Sullivan "Patter Song") which he set out in his President's Message. As he pointed out, here in BLT ("One of the most successful amateur theatre groups in West Yorkshire") (I would have said "in the country"!) - "we currently have vacancies for people of all professions and trades including builders, joiners, painters, electricians, secretaries, receptionists, caterers, bar staff, tailors, seamstresses, artists, designers, props people, beauticians, musicians, writers, readers, computer buffs, teachers, trainers, photographers and, oh yes, actors".
Although Sir Laurence Olivier may have been slightly over-simplistic when he allegedly said that the secret of good acting, was only to "keep your voice up and not to trip over the furniture" (!) acting is only one of the attractions offered by membership of BLT. The high standards of the plays are reflected throughout every aspect of the productions from the initial reading and casting, through the set-building, wardrobe creation, publicity and direction. All these are woven together by the outstanding social programme which provides the "cement between the bricks"; combined with the new challenges of running the Arts Centre for the local Community, this undoubtedly contributes to the loyal following and large attendances which BLT attracts on a regular basis.
To quote from Tony again (or was it Maria in "West Side Story") - "there's a place for you - even if it is just in the audience." We all know that you get out of life what you put into it - and BLT gives a great opportunity to put plenty in - come along and see for yourself!
John Eaton, President
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