I know you usually hear from the touring team about the exciting countries and places that the performing company is visiting, about developing new pieces in rehearsal, about amazing projects taking place with young people… but it’s about time you heard about the office. Yes, we don’t travel to such far flung places (though I think travelling across London during the Olympics is going to involve some extraordinary journeys) and we may not appear to be as creative, but I feel pretty inventive as I wrestle with diminished funds whilst trying to produce a balanced budget. And we can be wild – we enjoyed mojitos in the office courtesy of the Cuban rum brought back by Rebecca from the Company’s recent tour, and sometimes we have doughnuts. So it’s not dull in administration and management.
I produce the Company’s financial information which we use to report on how we have done in the preceding year, plan what we hope to achieve in the current year and map out future predictions about our income stream and what we want to spend. We’re obviously no different to anyone else in the current economic situation, and arts companies are facing tough times. We are looking carefully at what we spend as well as struggling with decreased levels of income as all of our funders, and the general public, feel the pinch. We are very lucky to have the support of a number of funders, including most notably the Arts Council of course, but all of us in the office spend a great deal of time poring over figures trying to work out how we can find the funds to produce the best possible artistic work whilst cutting costs where we can. (The mojitos and doughnuts are paid from our own pockets, I should add.) We’ve recently had the external auditors in the office. They have checked and verified our figures and, I’m happy to report (and you’ll be pleased to hear), everything is transparent, above board and legal.
I am finding it hard to contain myself this week as Candoco has been given a few hot tickets to the technical rehearsal of the Opening Ceremony of the Olympics tonight. This is definitely a perk to the job…! Given that, along with everyone else I know it seems, I haven’t been able to get tickets for any of the Olympic events in the stadium, I can’t quite believe that I am going to get the chance to experience the Olympic village and see a massive show to boot. I know the press was sceptical initially about the details that Danny Boyle had revealed about the show, but, following the dress rehearsal on Monday night, it sounds as though he has won the doubters over with his bucolic vision of Britain, complete with rain clouds (real or otherwise), May Pole dancers, cricketers etc. I heard Akram Khan talking about his contribution to the spectacle on the radio the other day, so I’m looking forward to seeing his contribution. I think we are sworn to secrecy about what we see tonight, though not long for anyone to wait now. This time next week, we will all have Olympics Fatigue, or perhaps the nation will be gripped by Olympics Fever and the enormous cost of the whole enterprise will feel like money well spent.