Our theatre venues enjoyed another busy year in 2017/18, with Adam Smith Theatre, Carnegie Hall, Lochgelly Centre and Rothes Halls each serving their communities with a unique programme that catered to Fifers and tourists of all generations. From comedy and theatre to music and dance, our audiences saw some of the finest local, national and international entertainment on stage and on screen.
Our new five-year Customer Engagement & Marketing Strategy aims to grow our engagement levels, service usage, customer base and earned income, with innovations in customer insight and engagement, segmentation, digital marketing and design. The capacity to complete ticket sales in non-theatre venues was introduced this year; tickets can now be purchased in our library and museum venues without incurring any online booking fees.
Star of TV and film David Tennant graced the stage for a sold out ‘Audience With’ event at Adam Smith Theatre as part of the Adam Smith Festival of Ideas. Meanwhile writer, broadcaster and activist Sandi Toksvig followed in the footsteps of Kofi Annan and Ed Balls to give this year’s Adam Smith Lecture. 1,277 attendees took part in March’s 2018 edition of the Festival which was programmed by the Adam Smith Global Foundation and hosted by the Trust as key partner.
Our reputation continued to grow with audiences of over 116,000 attending 501 live performances such as the Russian National Ballet’s regal performance of The Nutcracker, which sold out at Rothes Halls (pictured here).
A Customer Engagement strategy is helping to attract new audiences with innovations in segmentation, marketing and website design.
As part of our programme of customer research during 2017/18 we sent more than 10,000 ‘How Was it for You?’ questionnaire emails to bookers after the events at each of our theatres. We were really pleased to get such a great response rate from our customers (21%) – including more than 3,000 individual reviews and comments on our shows, venues and pricing. We were also delighted to receive an overall annual rating 4.6 stars out of 5 stars for our event programme – with a 4.4 star for the venues.
Carnegie Hall celebrated its 80th anniversary on Friday, 6 October by launching two weeks of family entertainment, much of it for free. Fife hit the national headlines when the planned media campaign secured television coverage on STV and BBC. Arts Correspondent for BBC Scotland, Pauline Maclean arrived with a camera crew to film the celebrations. You can read more here in The Courier. The stars came out in force to lend support to the much-loved local institution, with our Provost, Cllr Jim Leishman, The Proclaimers, KT Tunstall, Nazareth, The Searchers and Curtis Stigers sending in video messages of support ahead of the anniversary. You can view them all on Twitter.
“It’s better than the other Carnegie Hall,” said multi-platinum American soul musician Stigers, who sold the venue out as part of Fife Jazz Festival earlier in 2017. “It sounds better. It’s cuter. And it’s in Fife – how can you go wrong?” Indeed!
Over 21,000 people enjoyed our outstanding music events. Guitar virtuoso Newton Faulkner, Deacon Blue frontman Ricky Ross, the RSNO, jazz sensation Yolanda Brown (pictured), Scottish folk hit-maker Dougie Maclean and American pop monolith Jimmy Osmond were just a few of the musical talents to grace our stages. We also presented a wide range of popular tribute nights with music that charted from the 1940s to the present day. Scotland’s national treasure Lulu returned to the Rothes Halls in November, celebrating 55 years in the business.
Rapture Theatre brought us Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Talking Scarlet brought Strictly Murder and A Street Car Named Desire, playing to a total of 3,967 people. Almost 1,000 people attended our NT Live programme watching amazing dramas such as Twelfth Night, Rosencrantz & Guildenstern and Julius Caesar.
In theatre, The Steamie visited the Adam Smith Theatre as it celebrated its 30th Anniversary tour playing to 2,214 people during a five-show run.
Comedy also had a strong following throughout the year. That’s Fife Comedy Festival in April brought the likes of Russell Kane, Elaine C Smith, Chris Ramsay, Grant Stott and some 2,300 revellers to our venues.
We brought back our comedy club programme for some great nights of laid back humour and the opportunities to see the big stars of the future in our café bars. Milton Jones had a full house rolling in the aisles with his brand of ‘Out There’ comedy at the Adam Smith Theatre. Other established favourites such as Craig Hill, Daniel Sloss and Jimeon also all made successful returns.
Oh yes it is! And this year 17,293 people attended our traditional annual pantomime at Adam Smith Theatre. Produced in conjunction with Imagine Theatre, Aladdin wowed with its high end production, comedic performances and unforgettable musical numbers.
A Tiny Little Christmas at Carnegie Hall is our new Christmas Festival offering for babies and children up to 8 years old. Its 2017 debut offered 1,606 attendees three original interactive drama productions: Shh the Elves are Shy (Ipdip), Little Ulla (Grinagog) and The Attic (Starcatchers) alongside workshop activities and a traditional family film programme designed to get everyone in the festive spirit. After the success of 2017, the event programme for 2018 has expanded. The Magical Toyshop and CloudMan is accompanied by a new Christmas Fayre, featuring local craft makers and a visit from Santa.
8,800 film fanatics got their fix on the silver screen as Adam Smith Theatre chanelled a filmhouse vibe in between the blockbusters. Fifers turned out to watch the mid-life crises of Spud, Renton, Sick Boy and Begbie in the very funny T2 Trainspotting, while Oscar nominated Dunkirk and Denial both drew in the crowds.
Local amateur societies and dance schools are the life blood of theatres. In 2017/18 we helped community performers bring over 200 shows to Fife, welcoming over 50,000 audience members to see such work as Mack and Mabel at Lochgelly Centre (pictured), Footloose, The Magic Flute, The Wedding Singer, Starlight Express and, of course, Les Miserables.
All of our venues work closely with community performers to help support the development of local talent such as the Rothes Halls’ long standing partnership with Glenrothes Amateur Musical Association (GAMA).
The Adam Smith Theatre hosted Tae Sup wi’ a Fifer which saw audiences of 739 enthusiastic and loyal followers. The eclectic live music showcase curated by Fife-based singer-songwriter James Yorkston, with funding from Creative Scotland, is raising Fife’s profile as a destination for exceptional live music performance, attracting national and international musicians such as Linton Kwesi Johnson and Kathryn Joseph. Stars performing during 2017/18 included Radiohead’s Philip Selway (pictured) and Frightened Rabbit frontman Scott Hutchison, who thrilled packed rooms on their respective solo debuts in the Kingdom. Tragically, the music world lost a hugely talented and charismatic performer when the very sad news of Scott’s death was announced in May 2018. Our thoughts are with his family and friends.
As we look forward to 2018/19 we’re planning a balanced programme across all of our theatres. Each of our venues has a unique selling point and quality programming will play to these strengths. Our newly launched Comedy Cafes are growing in numbers every month and Strictly fans will need to hurry to get seats before tickets sell out for Giovanni Pernice. Fresh from an award-winning, sold out run at the Edinburgh Fringe, we’re delighted to welcome to the Adam Smith Theatre ‘What Girls Are Made Of’ by the very talented Glenrothes playwright, Cora Bissett. Fife will also host famous faces such as Francis Rossi, Eddie Reader, Horse and Daniel Sloss.