Richard Wolfenden – Brown seems to be putting Bude firmly on the performing arts map. His brainchild, North Coast Arts, held its very first open air theatre season, with over 3000 people attending our shows this summer. In an email to supporters, he wrote:
“It was lovely to see people of all ages being riveted to the stories and creating some happy open-air summer memories for them and their families, especially after such a difficult and dramatic year for all of us.
We were thrilled by the turnout and I am particularly grateful to Sophie McConnell who took charge of our social media and marketing, Jonathan McConnell who built our website and also to the local businesses that sold the tickets including the T.I.C, Spencer Thorn, Ark Angel Christian Bookshop, The Seventh Wave Gallery and The Costume Room.
We even had lovely weather – only one show was properly wet and the audience still stayed to enjoy it!
Fifteen performances took place at Ebbingford Manor, Bude with other shows at Crackington Institute Lawn, Little Pig Farmshop & Café and Norton Barton Artisan Food Village which also kindly supports North Coast Arts.
The performances supported actors, writers, directors, designers and musicians from across the country, but also created opportunities for local charities and good causes to raise much needed funds from raffles and refreshments. Bude Sea pool provided refreshments at all the Ebbingford shows and raised £1,035 plus another £2,681 from the special Summerleaze Swing fundraiser on 31 July.
In addition, pre-show raffles for Connect Bude raised £610 for the group that is actively campaigning to reopen the railway line towards Bude and delicious home made cakes and pasties helped Crackington Village Shop volunteers raise £718 at the Crackington shows. Volunteer Ellen Hawley said ‘After the long artistic drought that the pandemic brought, it was a joy to see live theatre in a safe environment, and to see the community have so much fun with it.’
You will be pleased to hear that plans are in the pipeline for another open air theatre festival in 2022, but there will also be some occasional high quality winter arts events at various local venues arranged by North Coast Arts, with all the information soon available on our website.”