Rising show costs put Weymouth Operatic Society under great pressue

Dorset Echo: KEEP US SINGING: The cast of Weymouth Operatic Society’s production of Fiddler on the Roof KEEP US SINGING: The cast of Weymouth Operatic Society’s production of Fiddler on the Roof

The award-winning society, which puts on two shows a year, said that the society has to pay between £27,000-£30,000 to put on their one main show.

This figure covers hire of Weymouth Pavilion, director/choreographer/musical director’s fees, scenery hire, musician fees, show royalties, which are a percentage of net ticket sales, show licence fee, costume hire, advertising costs, programme printing and props.

The society is self-funded and relies on fundraising to put on productions.

Organisers said that after paying out so much, they are lucky if they break even or lose a couple of thousand pounds on each show and that finding funding was ‘very difficult’.

Last year’s show Crazy for You left the society £13,000 out of pocket and 2012’s Fiddler on the Roof around £9-£10,000, even though ticket prices were kept low, just £10.

Weymouth Operatic Society chairman Stella Brading said this shortfall had a ‘big effect’ on the society’s future prospects.

She said: “It means that the future could be under jeopardy – we have spoken about having a five year life.”

She added that there had been a ‘change in culture’ that meant that less people were going out to the theatre and were staying in instead.

Mrs Brading said that they were working together with Weymouth and Portland Borough Council and Weymouth Pavilion to try and get their name out there.

She added that the group desperately need help and was looking for volunteer fundraisers to help them and local businesses to sponsor programmes and flyers.

Anyone interested in fundraising or sponsoring the group can visit their website at weymouthoperatic.org

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