The Embassy Theatre

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by The Embassy Theatre's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from The Embassy Theatre is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett, MP
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles, MP

www.embassytheatre.co.uk

BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2019
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
54 | WW1 REMEMBRANCE CENTRE
The new centre has been a roaring
success. More volunteers have come,
including some ex-service personnel.
The area is far busier than we
expected. It is a three-minute walk
from the local rail station and ten
minutes from various bus stops. There
are also two huge factories and two
huge housing estates nearby, and we
get many visitors from all four sources.
Working in Europe
Many foreign visitors are often
turning up as well as mums and dads
bringing children in for help with
homework.Parents also bring in their
home-schooled children.
The library has grown to about five
and a half thousand books and
magazines. We help work-experience
school children as well as those doing
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award
scheme. We have put plans in place for
educational classes and workshops.
We also often have foreign students
work with us, and this has led to me
helping a school in Belgium. Once a
year, I take about 90 pupils and 11
of their teachers around their own
battlefields. Another benefit is that
when the foreign students go back
home, they arrange for unusual First
World War documents and pictures to
be sent to us.
We work with many youth organisations
such as the army and Royal Marine
Cadets. We also are well known in
Europe and are working more and more
with European museums. I conduct
many talks to groups in our local area.
Some of the talks cover little-known
topics such as “Mexico in the Great
War”. Temporary exhibits cover such
things as First World War shipwrecks in
the English Channel and famous film
stars from the war. Plans are in place to
remember the 50th anniversary of the
first moon landing with a display entitled
“From flare guns to moon landings”
with original material supplied by NASA.
Throughout our history, we have faced
many challenges, from funding to
finding a suitable location. Despite all
of these troubles, we have persevered
and have become an integral part
of our local community, helping to
educate both young and old about
the lasting importance of the First
WorldWar.
We eventually
received a
thank-you
letter and
certificate from
the prime
minister at the
time as part of
her Points of
Light awards
I designed a timeline
running from 1912 to
the 1920s
55THE EMBASSY THEATRE |
DIGITAL, CULTURE, MEDIA & SPORT
Manager Pollyanne Trapmore-
Shaw
Today’s Embassy Theatre -
keeping entertainment live
Originally constructed in 1926, the Embassy Theatre is
located in the centre of Skegness seafront and serves
as a venue for a variety of professional entertainment
events. Irreparably damaged by a storm in 1978, it was rebuilt
and reopened in 1982 to incorporate an octagonal seated
auditorium with a stage. After further refurbishment in 2000, it
was proudly reopened by the late Sir Ken Dodd, who performed
at the theatre for approximately 45 years consecutively. Manager
Pollyanne Trapmore-Shaw tells
The Parliamentary Review
more.
The Embassy Theatre has been known for the best part of a century as the jewel
in the crown of this bustling British seaside resort. Building owners East Lindsey
District Council entrusted the management to Magna Vitae Trust for Leisure and
Culture in 2015 and continue as funding partners in support of the continued
plight for sustainability through investment. We work to continually offer the best-
quality live entertainment, sustainably, all year round.
More than just a stage
Although named the Embassy Theatre, we are in practice much more than
just a stage. Our venue and team are highly adaptable, with the ability to host
conferences, exhibitions and large-scale touring West End productions in addition
to our main line of business: one-night stage performances of live music, nostalgia,
children’s theatre and comedy. In the past decade, we have installed ice rinks,
circus rings, revolving extended stages, glitter cannons, bridges, staircases,
catwalks, vehicles, snooker tables, flying carpets and other non-standard structures
FACTS ABOUT
THE EMBASSY THEATRE
»Manager: Pollyanne Trapmore-
Shaw
»Founded in 1926
»Located in Skegness,
Lincolnshire
»Services: Theatre
»No. of employees: 28
»The Embassy Theatre is also
a receiving and producing
house, conference venue,
stage academy, art gallery and
visitor information centre
»Annual footfall of 150,000
The Embassy Theatre
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
56 | THE EMBASSY THEATRE
»OUR PROGRAMME
»Sixty per cent live
music from the 1940s
to the 1990s
»Ten per cent comedy,
including plays
»Ten per cent musical
theatre
»Ten per cent
community work
»Ten per cent classical
music, ballet, opera
and Shakespeare
in the venue, all showcasing the
diversity of programming and flexibility
of our venue.
With 1,168 seats and room for 1,400
standing, we are one of the largest
auditoriums on the east coast and
have played host to many seasoned
performers as well as current,
nationally recognised artists. Illustrating
our appetite for diversifying our
audience, we have recently hosted a
number of events in the field of sports
and celebrity, most notably an evening
with world heavyweight boxing
champion Anthony Joshua.
We attract a range of West End
touring productions and in recent years
have secured exclusive Lincolnshire
debuts of multiple-night productions,
including Agatha Christie’s
The
Mousetrap
. Products such as these
provide a unique opportunity to grow
the venue’s audience demographic
within the locality, enabling them to
experience West End productions on
their doorstep without the need to
travel to the city. Recent investment of
£250,000 has just been made in the
shape of a new high-end hospitality
suite in recognition of the importance
of generating valuable secondary
spend, which ultimately makes
aspirational touring productions viable
for our venue.
Geographical challenges
We are a small coastal town that
has a local resident population of
20,000 and is a 90-minute drive from
the nearest motorway. The summer
months bring an explosion of visitors
to our area, with the heights of the
season reaching numbers in excess
of250,000.
Contrary to perception the programme
required to service the summer season
influx is not big-scale touring but
more low-key light entertainment
to suit every budget. Outside of the
core summer months, we achieve a
dynamic programme for our patrons
– many of whom would be unable to
attend during the peak season due to
the employment opportunities created
by the touristcrowd.
It is quite a unique opportunity to
have the visible attention of such
an increased population across the
summer months, and this is where we
target to encourage a return outside
of the traditional holiday period,
thus extending the season with great
economic benefit for the multiple
establishments and local businesses the
theatre’s programme supports.
We employ a team of 28 staff, further
enhanced by a significant number of
volunteer stewards. Although activity
is significantly less during the off-peak
season, our venue is fairly unique in
that it is only dark for a short period of
essential maintenance each year, which
helps retain our part-time and casual
team throughout, although budgeting
is certainly an important skill.
Charitable objectives
In addition to presenting for enjoyment
in 2014, the Embassy Theatre
Academy was formed with a view to
offering tuition and encouragement in
drama, dance, singing and stagecraft.
Opportunities to perform within
touring professional productions
Bringing West End
shows to our doorstep
Our venue and
team are highly
adaptable, with
the ability to
host
conferences,
exhibitions and
large-scale
touring
WestEnd
productions
57THE EMBASSY THEATRE |
DIGITAL, CULTURE, MEDIA & SPORT
appearing in our venue, as well as
to stage student productions, add to
the attractive offer of being part of
the Academy. Through the Academy,
our venue supports the integration
of the local community, inspiring
and encouraging ownership of the
facility and promoting the benefits of
participation, which include confidence
building, creativity, communication
and many other life skills.
Our key charitable objective is to
enable local people to lead a great life
– the Embassy Theatre, in partnership
with the Rotary Club of Skegness,
delivers a charitable scheme to enable
local disadvantaged children and
individuals to experience live theatre at
their local venue.
In tandem each year, the Academy
produces a local community variety
show where groups and individuals
are invited to perform and entertain to
benefit worthwhile causes locally.
Development
In 2017 we took the decision to form
Magna Vitae Productions from the
creative team working within the venue,
with the initial aim of producing our
first pantomime in-house, thus taking
full editorial control of quality, content
and delivery of a magical experience
at possibly the most important time of
the year. For many families, it is perhaps
the only time they visit, and our remit is
to change this. In the first two years of
delivery, a rise in standards and a fresh
approach were promised and realised
along with an increase in ticket sales on
previous years. Now, in preparation for
year three, we look forward to reporting
repeat record box office sales as we
strive to reach in excess of 40 per cent of
our local population attending the show
this Christmas. Magna Vitae Productions
are also delivering co-produced works
and developing relationships with the
local amateur community to make their
participation and creativity sustainable
in subsequent years.
In the past decade, our operational
subsidy from the council has reduced
from in excess of £184,000 to
£14,000, with our target of self-
sustainability firmly in sight. Targets
have this year been lifted higher
by recent investment and building
improvements. Our aim is to exceed
our target of zero subsidy in the next
decade and keep the entertainment
experience live at the Embassy Theatre
for decades to come.
We strive to
reach in excess
of 40 per cent
of our local
population
attending the
show this
Christmas
Cinderella waves
goodbye – Magna Vitae
Productions
Upstairs at The Embassy – our
hospitality suite
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2019
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
56 | THE EMBASSY THEATRE
»OUR PROGRAMME
»Sixty per cent live
music from the 1940s
to the 1990s
»Ten per cent comedy,
including plays
»Ten per cent musical
theatre
»Ten per cent
community work
»Ten per cent classical
music, ballet, opera
and Shakespeare
in the venue, all showcasing the
diversity of programming and flexibility
of our venue.
With 1,168 seats and room for 1,400
standing, we are one of the largest
auditoriums on the east coast and
have played host to many seasoned
performers as well as current,
nationally recognised artists. Illustrating
our appetite for diversifying our
audience, we have recently hosted a
number of events in the field of sports
and celebrity, most notably an evening
with world heavyweight boxing
champion Anthony Joshua.
We attract a range of West End
touring productions and in recent years
have secured exclusive Lincolnshire
debuts of multiple-night productions,
including Agatha Christie’s
The
Mousetrap
. Products such as these
provide a unique opportunity to grow
the venue’s audience demographic
within the locality, enabling them to
experience West End productions on
their doorstep without the need to
travel to the city. Recent investment of
£250,000 has just been made in the
shape of a new high-end hospitality
suite in recognition of the importance
of generating valuable secondary
spend, which ultimately makes
aspirational touring productions viable
for our venue.
Geographical challenges
We are a small coastal town that
has a local resident population of
20,000 and is a 90-minute drive from
the nearest motorway. The summer
months bring an explosion of visitors
to our area, with the heights of the
season reaching numbers in excess
of250,000.
Contrary to perception the programme
required to service the summer season
influx is not big-scale touring but
more low-key light entertainment
to suit every budget. Outside of the
core summer months, we achieve a
dynamic programme for our patrons
– many of whom would be unable to
attend during the peak season due to
the employment opportunities created
by the touristcrowd.
It is quite a unique opportunity to
have the visible attention of such
an increased population across the
summer months, and this is where we
target to encourage a return outside
of the traditional holiday period,
thus extending the season with great
economic benefit for the multiple
establishments and local businesses the
theatre’s programme supports.
We employ a team of 28 staff, further
enhanced by a significant number of
volunteer stewards. Although activity
is significantly less during the off-peak
season, our venue is fairly unique in
that it is only dark for a short period of
essential maintenance each year, which
helps retain our part-time and casual
team throughout, although budgeting
is certainly an important skill.
Charitable objectives
In addition to presenting for enjoyment
in 2014, the Embassy Theatre
Academy was formed with a view to
offering tuition and encouragement in
drama, dance, singing and stagecraft.
Opportunities to perform within
touring professional productions
Bringing West End
shows to our doorstep
Our venue and
team are highly
adaptable, with
the ability to
host
conferences,
exhibitions and
large-scale
touring
WestEnd
productions
57THE EMBASSY THEATRE |
DIGITAL, CULTURE, MEDIA & SPORT
appearing in our venue, as well as
to stage student productions, add to
the attractive offer of being part of
the Academy. Through the Academy,
our venue supports the integration
of the local community, inspiring
and encouraging ownership of the
facility and promoting the benefits of
participation, which include confidence
building, creativity, communication
and many other life skills.
Our key charitable objective is to
enable local people to lead a great life
– the Embassy Theatre, in partnership
with the Rotary Club of Skegness,
delivers a charitable scheme to enable
local disadvantaged children and
individuals to experience live theatre at
their local venue.
In tandem each year, the Academy
produces a local community variety
show where groups and individuals
are invited to perform and entertain to
benefit worthwhile causes locally.
Development
In 2017 we took the decision to form
Magna Vitae Productions from the
creative team working within the venue,
with the initial aim of producing our
first pantomime in-house, thus taking
full editorial control of quality, content
and delivery of a magical experience
at possibly the most important time of
the year. For many families, it is perhaps
the only time they visit, and our remit is
to change this. In the first two years of
delivery, a rise in standards and a fresh
approach were promised and realised
along with an increase in ticket sales on
previous years. Now, in preparation for
year three, we look forward to reporting
repeat record box office sales as we
strive to reach in excess of 40 per cent of
our local population attending the show
this Christmas. Magna Vitae Productions
are also delivering co-produced works
and developing relationships with the
local amateur community to make their
participation and creativity sustainable
in subsequent years.
In the past decade, our operational
subsidy from the council has reduced
from in excess of £184,000 to
£14,000, with our target of self-
sustainability firmly in sight. Targets
have this year been lifted higher
by recent investment and building
improvements. Our aim is to exceed
our target of zero subsidy in the next
decade and keep the entertainment
experience live at the Embassy Theatre
for decades to come.
We strive to
reach in excess
of 40 per cent
of our local
population
attending the
show this
Christmas
Cinderella waves
goodbye – Magna Vitae
Productions
Upstairs at The Embassy – our
hospitality suite

www.embassytheatre.co.uk

The Parliamentary Review Publication, in which this article originally appeared, contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Michael Gove.

Rt Hon Michael Gove's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Michael Gove

This year's Parliamentary Review comes at a momentous time for parliament, as we collectively determine the destiny of the United Kingdom. 

On October 31, the UK will leave the European Union. The successful implementation of this process is this government's number-one priority.

Three years after a historic referendum vote, we will deliver on the decisive mandate from the British people. Trust in our democracy depends on it. Until that final hour, we will work determinedly and diligently to negotiate a deal, one that abolishes the backstop and upholds the warm and close relationship we share with our friends, allies and neighbours in the EU. But in the event that the EU refuses to meet us at the table, we must be prepared to leave without a deal.

As the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, it is my job to lead on this government's approach, should that scenario happen. Preparing for Brexit is my department's driving mission. But while I am leading this turbocharged effort, the whole of government is committed to this endeavour.

Ministers across Whitehall are working together to ensure that every possibility is considered, every plan is scrutinised and every provision is made. A daily drumbeat of meetings means that we are holding departments accountable, so that preparations are completed on time.

The chancellor has confirmed that all necessary funding will be made available. And we have mobilised thecivil service, assigning 15,000 of our most talented civil servants to manage our exit from the EU.

We will make sure that on November 1, there is as little disruption to national life as possible. Our trade relationships will continue to thrive, thanks to agreements with countries around the world worth £70 billion. Our country will remain secure, thanks to nearly 1,000 new officers posted at our borders. And the 3.2 million EU nationals now living and working among us can remain confident, with absolute certainty, of their right to remain in the UK.

Above all, our goal is to be transparent. Soon, we will launch a public information campaign so that citizens, communities and businesses are ready and reassured about what will happen in the event of “no deal”.

In my first few weeks in this role, I have travelled to ports and tarmacs, borders and bridges, all across the UK –from the seaside of Dover to the rolling green hills of County Armagh. I have heard from business owners and border officials, farmers and hauliers. They are ready to put an end to uncertainty. And they are ready to embrace the opportunities ahead.

Our departure from the EU will be a once in a lifetime chance to chart a new course for the United Kingdom. Preparing for that new course will be a herculean effort. But this country has made astounding efforts before. We can do it again.
Rt Hon Michael Gove
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster