Theatre Club Update

As announced at last November’s meeting, a decision has been made to discontinue the
Theatre Club as a separate entity. This is due to several factors which have occurred since the Covid lockdown, principally the introduction of very short lead times for ticket payment (restricting the time available to build up support for a show), a significant increase in the cost of coach travel and the lack of support for everything other than large, popular musicals, for which we are able to fill a coach.

We will continue to organise selective theatre events but in future these will be treated as part of the main social events programme, and circulated to the general membership, although many of the considerations outlined below still will apply. Existing contacts will be maintained with the West End and provincial theatres and from time to time we will circulate details of shows which may be of interest to a section of the membership, but which are unlikely to attract sufficient interest to justify the provision of a coach; in such cases, members will generally be expected to organise their own transport.


Boxmoor and District Probus Theatre Club

About Boxmoor Probus Theatre Club

From time to time we get approaches from various theatre groups offering us heavily discounted prices for some of the top shows. In some cases we are able to fit one of these trips into our normal events programme but more often than not they clash with events which we have already organised. As our aim is to provide a varied events programme for the whole club, with no more than, say, two theatre/concert trips per year, it is not possible to take advantage of these offers without extending, or detracting from, the main programme. We have, therefore, from April 2009 been operating a Theatre Club, comprising a group of members who are interested in the theatre, and will actively support the events. On occasion the event might be instigated by ourselves as we are on the mailing list for a number of theatre groups/agencies (including the National, RSC and Chichester) where we can usually get a discount for groups of 10+. This means we can cater for classical and serious theatre, and not just the popular musicals.Transport is, of course, an important element and costs will depend on the level of support we get for a particular event. However, the benefits of discounted tickets and a “door to door” service (particularly in regard to the West End) generally combine to make an attractive package. All members are welcome to join – just contact Dave Norris on 01442 215263, e-mail - and you will be added to the mailing list. As the theatre club needs to be self- sufficient, a few basic rules/principles apply:

1. The Club is open to the membership of Boxmoor Probus (including Members-in-Waiting and widows of former members) as notified to Dave Norris. New members will be made aware of the existence of the Theatre Club in the letter confirming their membership.

2. The purpose of the Group is to take advantage of special deals which are offered to us by various theatre groups from time to time; where West End theatres are involved these will usually (but not exclusively) be for weekday matinee performances.

3. It is the intention to provide a varied programme which, as far as possible, will take account of individual tastes and availability in choosing the events; this will, however, clearly depend on the level of support we get for a particular event.

4. Generally, trips will be restricted to London and other theatres within easy travelling distance (e.g. Milton Keynes); transport will be arranged according to the size of the group, and will be included in the price. We may on occasion travel further afield (e.g. Stratford -upon - Avon, Chichester) but this will be the exception.

5. The prime method of communication will be via e-mail so members are encouraged to check their e-mail in boxes regularly as, where tickets are limited, they will be allocated on a strictly “first come, first served” basis. Time permitting, any unsold tickets will be advertised at the next club meeting and, and if not taken up, will then be offered outside the club.

6. The programme will be planned in such a manner as not to detract from the main events programme, and we will aim at about four ”official” events, evenly spaced throughout the year.

7. In addition, there will be occasions when we can facilitate discounted tickets (with the added benefit of no booking fees/credit card charges) for shows at local theatres (e.g. Aylesbury Waterside, Swan at Wycombe). Generally, these will not form part of the club programme, and no transport will be provided. Payment for such events will be strictly in accordance with the provisions of 8 and 9 below. Depending on circumstances, payment could be to either Dave Norris or the club.

8. As tickets will need to be paid for in advance, the usual practice of paying at the meeting in the month before the event will not be practical; instead, prompt payment for the tickets will required to the Treasurer once the payment deadline has been established. Usually, the cost of the coach will be charged separately, and will be payable by the club meeting in the month before the event. Where it suits the individual, payment by internet transfer is preferred,

9. The Theatre Club will be run outside the normal Club activities, and will be financially self-sufficient i.e. it will not be subsidised from the Club general fund. Therefore, it will not generally be possible (unless replacements can be found) to refund the cost in the event of late cancellation etc. It is, therefore important that any likelihood of cancellation is advised to Dave (or in his absence,John Gross as soon as possible. However, the ultimate responsibility for finding a replacement in such circumstances will rest with the Theatre Club member. There may be occasions when the theatre is willing to credit us for “returns”, but we have found this to be very much the exception.