Town hall success
PUBLISHED: 11:01 28 August 2008 | UPDATED: 13:34 06 May 2010
SIR, — It s a shame that you didn t do your research properly when writing about St Albans Town Hall (Herts Advertiser, August 21) You say, the only events scheduled to take place at the Town Hall in the next few months are thought to be a handful of art
SIR, - It's a shame that you didn't do your research properly when writing about St Albans Town Hall (Herts Advertiser, August 21) You say, "the only events scheduled to take place at the Town Hall in the next few months are thought to be a handful of art exhibitions, a one-day wedding fair and some theatre workshops". But you obviously didn't attend the project that took over the building during July - a mix of film, theatre, sound, performance and visual art, funded by the Lottery and created by up to 50 local participants led by eight award-winning artists.
This extremely successful production was sold out and audiences were delighted by its inventive use of the building, telling the stories of the past inhabitants of the Town Hall.
I produced this show and while we there there was a wide array of arts activities for diverse groups - a Beryl Cook retrospective show; a workshop to create a play in a day, performed by professional actors; an installation artist in residence; a comedy workshop for would-be stand ups; workshops in visual art, performance and film making. All this in just one month.
So why don't you occasionally focus on what has been achieved in a short space of time by dedicated people who have put their heart and soul into revamping a building that used to house, oh yes - carpet sales. tool sales. book sales. Great! How exciting it was before, hey?
There's a reason why St Albans has a brain drain of creative professionals - because of reporting like this. So celebrate what St Albans Arts are doing, putting their energy into making the building work, and that takes time.
And next time a company like ours does a show, why don't you send one of your team along to watch or even take part? Let's stop all the negative stamping on any initiative that anyone shows. It shocked some of our artists who were from out of town. They were surprised that local papers wouldn't be rushing to support a new project in such a beautifully-refurbished building.
Drakes Drive, St Albans.
n Editor's note: At least I'm glad we agree on something. In last week's editorial comment we praised the efforts of St Albans Arts and pointed out that they needed time to make such a project work.