Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Does the theatre rely on grants or subsidies?
A: No, Tynemouth Priory Theatre is self-financing and proud of it. We earn our keep by selling seats for our productions, hiring out the theatre to outside companies and other trading activities, like hiring out props, scenery and cloths. We also get income from our membership and the occasional donation. We are a registered charity.
Q: Can businesses advertise at the theatre?
A: Yes, please contact the secretary for details of ad-cloth/projected display and programme advertising.
Q: What productions are there at the Theatre?
A: Tynemouth Priory Theatre club puts on five plays a year and a Christmas pantomime during a season that runs from September to June. We try to put on a balanced programme: mystery/who-done-it, domestic comedy, well-known classic drama, thought-provoking theatre, TV spin-off etc. We have a play-reading committee and the choice of plays is carefully thought through, bearing in mind our core audience and what our members want to take part in, the availability of actors and licenses for productions, the season as a whole, staging and directors etc. Other visiting companies occasionally put on productions throughout the year, including musicals.
Q: What ways are there to frequent Tynemouth Priory Theatre?
A: There are lots of ways:
- Come on the night of a production and buy seats if there are any left
- Book by phone (0191 292 9292), by email or via message through the website
- Book on the website (get your ticket instantly)
- Buy a season ticket to reserve the same seats for every show – but you can swap nights during the season.
Q: Theatres are notorious for high prices for programmes and refreshments. What about you?
A: We try to keep our prices low so that audience members can enjoy a night at our theatre at a reasonable cost.
Q: Is the theatre licensed to sell alcohol?
A: Yes, we have a limited license. During the interval of our five regular productions (adult) alcohol is on sale for consumption on the premises only (subject to availability), and there is a limited range supplied (sealed bottles of wine, premixed gin and tonic, bottled beer). No alcohol may be brought onto the premises and consumed. We reserve the right to refuse access to members of the public who flout our licensing conditions.
Q: Are other refreshments available in the Theatre?
A: Subject to availability, we sell a limited range of ice cream, soft drinks and water, usually during the interval.
Q: I’ve heard about meal deals. What are they?
A: For some nights, we have done a deal with local restaurants. You can book a combined ticket for a meal beforehand and seats at a performance, all for a reduced price. We negotiate the arrangement, you book, pay and enjoy the evening. See the website or email/ring for details.
Q: How do I get involved with the Theatre?
A: We love to see new people becoming involved with the Theatre. Most start informally: by volunteering to help front-of-house for an up-coming production, or by volunteering to help with props for a play, distributing leaflets etc. Being a regular patron gets you known and lets you see what sort of productions we put on. The next, formal way to get more involved is to apply to join the society, would be to contact one of our membership secretaries (see Direct Contacts). Once you have joined, you will recieve a regular newsletter in which auditions and social events are announced and you will be part of the Annual General Meeting, at which members of the management committee are voted for (you might eventually want to stand for the committee). Next, you might be successful at audition and get a part in a play or the January pantomime. Further down the line, you might put in a play to be considered for production, you might develop your skills as a director of plays, set builder, administrator or whatever – there’s never a shortage of things you can do, ways you can be involved. If all you want it to socialise, then our Saturday coffee morning (from 10.30am in the green room) might be a start. You can download our prospective member booklet here.
Q: If I am not a member, can I audition for a part in a play?
A: Yes, you can. See what plays are coming up in the season. See information for prospective actors, come to an open reading, ask for a copy of the script and then come to an audition. If you are offered a part in a play, we will expect you to join the Theatre. There may be a refundable deposit of £10 to borrow scripts in advance of auditions for non-members.
Q: What about children? Can they get involved?
A: The club is adults only for now. We welcome children in our annual pantomime and in appropriate plays/roles, but we don’t run a youth theatre, nor are we able to allow under sixteens’ to be involved unsupervised. Parents who are members often bring their children to the theatre and they get involved where they can.
Q: Who runs Tynemouth Priory Theatre?
A: We are all volunteers and you are welcome to join us. The elected committee (formally appointed at the Annual General Meeting in September) runs the theatre on behalf of the Charity (committee members are trustees of the charity). All the work running the theatre is done by members: from costumes to front of house, from lights to sound, from scenery to props, with actors and performers. We are all amateurs with a professional attitude.
Q: Why do the members of the Tynemouth Priory Theatre Society put all the effort in?
A: Because we believe in live theatre, we support local communities working together, we want be active champions of the arts, and we enjoy being involved rather than just watching (though we do a lot of that as well) and we want to keep alive local amateur theatre. See our prospective members booklet for more details.