Small-business in Poole pushed through COVID’s obstacles and put on an open-aired pantomime for primary school-aged children.
Louisa Lindsey-Clark, co-founder of Treehouse Theatre, and her husband Ben Lindsey-Clark displayed the effects Covid had on them.
Louisa Lindsey-Clark said: “99% of our shows are in schools, which meant that we had to close all of our shows.”
This didn’t stop them from spreading theatre to all ages.
After finding out about the lockdowns, Mr and Mrs Lindsey Clark contacted Arts Council England to see if they could receive a grant for their performances.
This was successful and the council gave them a small company grant.
Mrs Lindsey-Clark said: “I had to have a shot in the dark for when we should put on this pantomime. So, I picked a random date in December, around the 2nd of December, and booked out three weeks of shows”.
Once the date was set, the tickets were realised.
They were fully booked with nine months still to go.
Her guess was correct and the pantomime was staged for three weeks leading up to Christmas, sticking to the Covid guidelines of the time.
Mrs Lindsey- Clark added: “In some way, if it wasn’t for covid I wouldn’t have had the time to reach out to the Arts Council and got that grant, it was quite in-depth and complicated.”
The co-founder of the Dorset School of Acting also felt this difficulty.Mr Bowden created the Dorset School of Acting back in 2007, with his work partner Laura Roxburgh.
The idea was birthed with the purpose to bring a professional standard of training to the area of Poole.
James Bowden and Laura Roxburgh have faced many problems throughout their career, but when experiencing the COVID lockdowns, they were left searching for some aid.
Mr Bowden said: “I haven’t seen the support from the Government, it’s not enough.”
Expressing the feeling that the way to obtain a grant is too complicated.
He further added: “For our first-year course, which we started in 2011, we weren’t able to get funding for, we were very dependent on the economics of the community.”
The Arts Council England has released a statement that by 2023-26 a new investment programme is to be released.
CEO Darren Henley OBE stated: “We are bringing creativity to villages, towns, and cities across the country.”
The investment is said to bring in £446 million each year in 990 organisations.
This investment will enable small and larger companies to grow their business and take away the difficulty of applying for these grants.