Did you know that there is a way to support culture and the arts here in our community, whilst at the same time giving a Christmas gift to a loved one?
For just £25 (£15 concession) anyone can become a Friend of the Barn. Friends receive advance notice of gigs and events, money off deals for some performances and discounts at Buchanan’s Bistro.
Carol Strang, who has been a Friend of the Barn for years, recently joined the committee. She says, ‘There’s just something so special about having such a phenomenal facility here in our rural community. There is such a range of events and activities, from baby and dementia-friendly film showings, to live theatre, sell-out concerts and talks. We also have a say in the programming, with the Director and Marketing Coordinator both on our committee. There’s a quarterly newsletter to keep everyone up to date, and we have our own events too, from fundraisers like the quiz, to suppers with a talk in Buchanans’.
The Friends of the Barn scheme has been going for almost 20 years and there are currently 256 people joined up. I spoke to one of the newest Friends, Anne Peel who joined this summer. She says, ‘I’ve lived here since 2005 and have been brought along to several events here at the Barn by my friend Pam, we’ve been round the Wild Garden and watched a few films, and I especially love coming to see touring theatre groups. I’d like to get more involved next year, perhaps with some volunteering, because I do see that without people giving of their time as well as money, the Barn wouldn’t be able to run the programme that it does. I’m really looking forward to coming to a live opera screening, as that has always been a favourite of mine.’
Bertha Forbes is in with the bricks at the Barn, having been involved right from the start with the original Community Play. She remembers sitting in with the playwriting meetings alongside the director Alistair Macdonald and Professor Hargreaves in 1992. ‘There has been such a lot of change over the years, I remember at the beginning, there were only around six events a year. These days I get text alerts on my phone to let me know about events, and I even get the brochure sent to me electronically. I especially love the live screenings, particularly ballet, and I really enjoy a good play or a film as well’.
If you wish to give the Gift of Friendship to someone on your list this Christmas - or perhaps you like to join yourself - please pop along to the box office, open this week from 10am – 4pm Tuesday to Saturday, or give them a ring on 01330 825431.
Alternatively, head over to the Friends page and sign up online. You'll become a Friend with the click of a button.