19 January, 2013

The end of Creation?

We went to see a fantastic production of Aladdin over the Christmas holidays put on by local company, Creation Theatre. It was very entertaining—imaginative props, strong acting and a truly talented circus performer. But then all of their productions are very good and imaginative.

They started out (in 1997, I think—the year that we moved to the area) as an open-air theatre company, performing during the summer only, in the gardens and quads of Oxford colleges. They gained themselves some deservedly good reviews and grew gradually over the next few years, moving into indoor as well as outdoor venues and putting on productions at other times of the year. Eventually, they opened their own theatre—the North Wall.

But the poor summer weather, flooding and a reduction in tourism over the past couple of years have really taken their toll on Creation. Summer bookings were down and outdoor performances were rained off. Things reached crisis point this Christmas when Creation regretfully announced that if they were not able to raise £50,000 by the end of the financial year, they would be forced to close down.

All of this makes you realise just how wide-reaching the effects of unusual weather patterns can be. It’s not only about ruined houses and impassable roads. It can even affect entertainment and the arts. Let’s hope Creation survives.

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