Wed 16 Sep 2015

LEICESTER'S AHEAD OF THE CURVE AFTER A RECORD YEAR OF SUCCESS

CURVE is this week releasing its 2014/15 Annual Review detailing the organisation’s continued growth in audiences and revenue, reinforcing its reputation as one of the UK’s leading producing theatres.

Curve Chief Executive Fiona Allan commented “As I look back over the last year – my last as Chief Executive – it’s worth considering how far we have come. I’m particularly proud that over the year we averaged 78% attendance, and that for Curve’s own produced work our audiences now really do reflect the diversity of this plural city – we estimate 46% of audiences to be from BME backgrounds.  For the first time we had nearly as many visitors to the building as ticketed audiences in the theatre, and have been recognised formally as the major large visitor attraction for Leicester and Leicestershire.  Not bad for our sixth year.

We opened our first, home-grown, new musical, Sue Townsend’s The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13¾ The Musical, and bid farewell to Paul Kerryson after 23 years as Artistic Director with a record breaking Christmas run of The Sound of Music. And importantly, we increased our commitment to new talent, with the commissioning of 13 new works and hosting of 21 artist residences, and gave opportunity for 105 exceptionally talented members of our young company to perform on our stages.

Curve has enjoyed an exceptional year of growth and I’m extremely proud of all that the team have achieved. To those who are worried about the supposedly ‘bland’ state of regional theatre – look to Leicester for a success story.”

Other key achievements made by Curve in 2014/15 include:

  • An increase in tickets sales to almost 200,000, with an increase in turnover to £7.8m – Curve’s highest figure since opening in 2008.
  • A sustainable financial model which, balancing commercial and artistic use of the venue, has resulted in a reduction in Curve’s public subsidy from 58% in 2009/10 to 33% of turnover in 2014/15.
  • Nikolai Foster was appointed Artistic Director, to work alongside Commercial Director Alister de Ternant. Nikolai commenced in post on 1 January 2015, immediately stepping in to direct a community cast in the historic Service of Reveal and Celebration for King Richard III at Leicester Cathedral, seen by a worldwide audience.
  • Record audiences of over 11,300 to see Curve’s professionally produced Community Productions in which over 170 members of the public took part.
  • Continued programme of community engagement with over 18,500 people of all ages taking part in Curve’s Learning and Participation programmes, including over 185 free activities and performances in the theatre’s public spaces, and 190 performances made by, for or with young people.
  • The final year of Curve’s Young Arts Entrepreneurs programme which, over its three years, succeeded in helping 36 young people set up their own creative enterprises locally.

Prof Philip Tasker, Chair of Leicester Theatre Trust commented “It’s been another terrific year with growth in both audiences and visitors.  Underpinning all of this good work is the continued support from our key funders, Arts Council England and Leicester City Council. We greatly appreciate the belief they have in Curve and our work, and the strong, creative partnership we have with them both. My thanks go to Fiona and the whole Curve team for the hard work that has produced another year of excellent results.

I am delighted that Chris Stafford, our Executive Producer, will take on the role of Chief Executive in October. Working with our Artistic Director, Nikolai Foster and the exceptionally strong team at Curve, he is well placed to build on Fiona’s success.