Monday, 25 November 2019

SO WHO OR WHAT DO WE BLAME?

"CLOSING DOWN", "TO LET", "FREEHOLD FOR SALE"
Any of these familiar?
Let me quickly add we are not listed under any of them.
NO, it is the HIGH STREET that is suffering.
We are told that the internet is destroying the retail shops, and not only the small or local ones.
Well, I accept it is playing a large part, but I do not believe it is the only reason.
So far the last few days have kept many people indoors waiting for the rain to stop.
But, it is not just the weather, think about car parking charges. Is it a coincidence that parking the car will likely cost more than the postage and packaging charge for an on line purchase?
And I haven't even taken account of congestion and traffic jams.
What about service? Have you noticed a change in the attitude of shop assistants. Apart from the smiling faces of those in the supermarkets whose jobs are relatively secure, I am finding more and more those on a knife's edge wondering if they will have a job next week.
I think I will stop. I am depressing myself.
Let me try and find a cheery picture.
Until next time,
Albert.....


Tuesday, 29 October 2019

EMAIL OR SNAIL MAIL?

Talk to a printer and he will tell you there is nothing sells better than an attractive, informative hard copy in the hand.
Talk to an IT specialist and you will be told mailing is a waste of money in this digital age, and the answer is emailing.
So, who do you believe?
When I receive an enquiry for a booking, my first question is "how did you find us?"
Almost invariably the answer is "on the internet".
But, is that really the case? What if the caller received our flyer, and then looked us up on the internet!
Now, the proximate cause of the enquiry becomes the mailing.
I do not profess to know the answer.
But, I do know we spend a fortune on mailing to some 10,000 schools each term, and I would like to believe it is money well spent. But, who knows?
So, the real question is can I afford to drop the mailing and rely entirely on emails and our website?
Now here I do have some valuable input. I have conducted several email campaigns over the last few years and I can safely say they are a waste of time. I have tried different formats both with and without attachments, and on one occasion I employed a "specialist" firm to create and send them. I do not believe I had a confirmed booking as a result.
In fact, I am of the opinion they can do more harm than good. Many recipients, that is those who bother to reply, request they be deleted from our emailing list.
What I can say with confidence is our website www.aesopstheatre.co.uk works well, and we try to keep it up-to-date, and search engine friendly.
Whilst I do not usually ask for responses to my blogs, this time I should really appreciate anything my readers have to say.
Until the next time,
Albert.....

Friday, 11 October 2019

AND STILL IT GOES ON!

Will the country ever get back to normal?
Will politicians ever realise there is more to life than "Brexit"
Will health and education ever again be considered important?
Somebody please tell me that Theatre in Education will survive.
More and more I hear of TiE companies struggling and some have already "gone to the wall".
Is there any hope?
When I hear that chocolate needs to be plain wrapped like cigarettes to tackle obesity I despair of humanity.
Do those in their gilded cages really not know that obesity is a direct result of poverty. One of them should send their maid or chauffeur to the local chippy and see what is happening in the real world. A bag of chips with possibly the luxury of a battered sausage is often all the poor souls can afford, How does a sugar tax resolve that?
Ok, so now I am off my soapbox and turning my attention to the myriad of enquiries for Workshops: can we do Captain Cook? Of course we can. How about "Bears" or "All About Me"? No problem.
These are just three that have been requested in the last few days.
I say if you want a Drama Workshop, just ask and if we do not have one ready made, we will create one for you that will entirely meet your needs.
Just before I leave, take a look at some pictures from our recent performance of "Robin Hood rescues the Forest" for Berks. Bucks and Oxon. Wildlife Trust in a truly delightful woodland setting........
Albert.



Tuesday, 16 July 2019

TIME JUST FLIES BY!

I cannot believe my last posting was in February. So much has happened since.
Unfortunately, not all the news is good. Whilst in some respects it is nice not to have to compete for business with many others, doing so does keep us on our toes and, dare I say and excuse the pun, ensures we put our best foot forward. However, we do not like to see our colleagues "going to the wall". The problem we all know is that there is not much money in the schools' coffers, and what little there is must be spent wisely.

An I.T. man told me some years ago that the digital age would supersede what he described as "snail mail".
How wrong can one be!
I am forever being urged to email schools "en masse" by those offering guarantees that the returns will far outweigh the cost.
Trust me, nothing could be further from the truth. If you are lucky, an email may reach the school office without being filtered out. But, the chances of it making it to the teaching staff or heads is very remote.
No, it may be expensive, but give me something tangible that one can hold and physically pass on every time.
Of course, I am making a bold statement and, whenever I receive a booking enquiry and ask the source, the reply is invariably "I found you on the internet". But, "did you really? Or, did you read the flyer that came through the post and then checked us out on the internet?"
Anyway, I must go now as I have to arrange the next mailshot.
Until sooner, I hope,
Albert.......






Tuesday, 19 February 2019

A VERY DARK HORSE INDEED!

Am I losing the plot?
Surely not!
I have searched high and low, but nowhere can I find mention of PAUL BAVERSTOCK. And, to make matters even worse, he does not appear in our "Hall of Fame".
So who is he? You ask.
Who is he???
Only one of our most recent performers, and an actor of outstanding talent. Well up there with those who pass our stringent test to be accepted as part of the "Aesop's Theatre Team".
How this blatant omission occurred is completely beyond me. I can only blame the gremlins in the system.
Anyway, he is now up in lights, as they say, and here is a photo.
Of course, many of you will have already seen him in the flesh, so to speak.
Paul is certainly enjoying himself with us and, like so many before him, has brought much of his own style and ideas with him.
I will return ere long.
Albert.........

Thursday, 14 February 2019

THE WEEK BEFORE HALF TERM

The sun is shining and whilst there is a chill in the air, we have survived in the south with only a modicum of snow and ice. Of course, March can bring surprises, but our hopes are high that we will not suffer any last minute postponements through school closures.
Amazing that we manage trips to the Midlands and beyond in the severest weather conditions only to find over zealous councils have ordered the schools to close. It were a lot different in my day, I hear you say. We all looked forward to creating treacherous slides and hurling snowballs at unsuspecting teachers: it was all part of the winter experience.
Nowadays, the kids are locked into their homes in front of their computers and mobile phones; "quelle change"!
Enough of the complaining, I did promise you a look at our wonderful new actress Tabitha.
Well, here she is, and you will be seeing her many times over the coming months.
 That's all from me for the present, but I will stay in touch, I promise,
Albert.....

Tuesday, 29 January 2019

THE SHOW WENT WELL

Today, at an independent school in Maidenhead, one that knows us well, Tabitha did her first performance of "Aesop's Fables".
Dare I say they loved it. In fact, the applause at the end was truly deafening.
So, what's the big deal, you ask?
Well, Tabitha has only been with us a week and, with NINE plays to learn, we are very impressed with the speed she is coming along.
Of course, the same has to be said of Paul, who has also been with us for only a short while, and he already has FOUR shows under his belt.
A long way to go yet and the busy Spring term is always a test, but we are confident of fulfilling all our many engagements with the quality performances our regulars have come to expect.
Half term is nearly upon us and that affords the opportunity to knuckle down to rehearsals and honing the finer points.
The wonderful part of having new actors is the innovations and ideas they bring. Sometimes I look back on the original scripts of twenty years ago and realise how much they have changed. The key important elements remain, but there is many a hint of enterprise and creativity that can be associated with the actors that portrayed the characters and enacted the scenes.
The golden rule is to quickly win over the audience and then milk them for all it is worth: add new jokes, use expression and body language to emphasise a point. You will be amply rewarded when you see the children really enjoying it.
As ever, I am prattling on. Have some more pictures.






Until next time, Albert signing off....