We hire a rehearsal room. Most groups do. Whether it is a room in the theatre (the studio) or at a local school, we hire the space. And in fact, often times when we are booked in at the theatre, because we are "in-house", we are bumped from the studio due to another group who want it, and are made to rehearse in the nursery room downstairs which is tiny, low-ceilinged and crammed with stuff, leaving an effective acting area of ten feet wide, eight feet deep and about eight feet tall.
We don't have racks of old costumes we can revisit, reuse or amend: we hire our costumes as we need them, as most groups do.
We build our own sets using the volunteered skills and time of members and associates of the group.
We source our own props, just like every group does.
There is no distinction made on the show between the theatre (which sells around 90,000 tickets a year across all productions, professional and amateur, cinema and stage), and the theatre company (which performs two productions a year, usually selling 200-250 seats on the best nights and around 100-150 on a decent one - in an auditorium holding 450 - which is the main reason Regent Rep are forced to do Allo Allo and Dad's Army just to get bums on seats, rather than the literary fare we were created on - the likes of Jamaica Inn, The Crucible, The Mayor of Casterbridge, Cold Comfort Farm, Pride and Prejudice).
Any money we make in profit is taken by the theatre to fund the theatre. Not the theatre company. For the next production we start the whole process again, and if we fail to generate enough income for the theatre, we face the very real threat of being shut down.
There are companies featured in the competition who have, or had at the time of filming and for a long time prior, their own theatre which doubles as the rehearsal space, with offices, meeting rooms, and rooms and rooms of props and set, and wardrobes crammed full of costumes that they own.
We would love to be able to rehearse in the performance space, to have a back catalogue of set and costumes, and the space to build new set indoors and under cover - but we don't. So how can we can be "the best resourced group in the competition"?
NBAD is on the whole doing a great service for amateur theatre, but there is a degree of viewer manipulation in evidence (obviously, it is a TV show). So, for the record: Regent Rep are based at the Regent Centre, but it is not the Regent Centre. The show is guilty of a wilful confusion of the two identities. You might very well think that this is in order to generate in the viewers' minds a sense of a well-known Biblical battle between opposing heightist camps, but I'm afraid I couldn't possibly comment...
Author: Gareth Richards