Perth Theatre Company cans remaining shows for 2015

1411_Individual-Shows-Big_OfMiceAndMen-880x445Perth Theatre Company has cancelled the remainder of its 2015 program  citing financial difficulties.

The move means the production of John Steinbeck’s classic ‘Mice and Men’ which was to have starred actor Jai Courtney will be cancelled. Also dropped in the production of ‘Your Seven’ from experiential theatre performer James Berlyn.

The company highlighted a reduced level of sponsorship attributed to the slowing WA economy and a drop in ticket sales as the reasons it was unable to confidently stage the upcoming shows.

Company chairman Saliba Sassine said the financial risks related to staging the works were too great.

Speaking to RTRFM’s ‘The Mag’ this morning Sassine told host Tanya Bunter the company’s main problem was a failure to secure sponsorship from the corporate sector.

Sassine nominated;”…our inability to convert corporate funding objectives into funding” as the main reason for the cancellation of future shows.

“We have this slowing economy and corporates use discretionary funding for this kind of thing across a number of fields and anecdotally it appears those commitments are falling.” Sassine said.

The company had improved its financial performance in the last financial year but a poor turn out to its recent production “The Song Was Wrong’ had impacted on the company’s bottom line.

The play written by Artistic Director Melissa Cantwell only drew an average audience of 70 people to each show.

The company’s cancellation of the remainder of its program comes two years after Deckchair Theatre company closed its doors. When it closed shrinking corporate sponsorship was also highlighted as one of the main reasons the company could not continue.

In 2011, when the company moved to the new State Theatre Centre as the junior tenant alongside Black Swan Theatre Company there was a push from the state government for the two companies to merge, but this suggestion was rejected.

The company is one of many second tier arts companies that may be affected by the reduction in funding to the Australia Council as Arts Minister George Brandis establishes his own Ministerial funding program for excellence in the arts.

OIP Staff



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