One Year On

It’s been one year since the arrival of the current Theatre Manager and Programming Officer, we decided to get their thoughts on what they’ve achieved and their highlights since arriving.

Michael:  I returned to work for The Y Theatre after 7 years with another venue, having previously been the Community Arts Administrator here.  It was like putting on your favourite outfit as the majority of the team were people I’d stayed in touch with over the years, though it was obviously somewhat more daunting to now be in charge of the place!

Hannah:  I’ve worked in a few arts venues around the city before joining The Y Theatre and I was excited to be part of the team as it’s a venue I have always loved.  Getting to put my passion to good use is always a bonus!

Michael:  The big area of focus for me outside the daily/weekly tasks expected of a theatre manager has been attempting to improve the customer experience.  We’ve introduced lots of new features (with plenty more still to come, exciting partnership announcements soon!) with a particular focus on our web sales.  I’m particularly pleased with the view from a seat as it shows off the lovely interior of our theatre.

Hannah:  My main challenge has been to take a look at the programme and see what it is missing, trying out new things I think our audience will like and seeing what people come to.  I’m also a huge champion for new work and local artists so have been exploring ways we can support people through our programming.

Michael:  My favourite part of working here is the strong cultural scene that we are contributing to.  We are so fortunate to work both with and alongside so many independent promoters and venues on projects like Handmade Festival and of course the Leicester Comedy Festival.

Hannah:  I agree, Leicester is a real cultural hub, there’s always something to go and see and it is great to be a part of making that happen.  It’s cheesy to say but I think my favourite part has to be the team; we all chip in and work hard while always having a laugh, and love a good GIF.

Michael:  Highlights for me have to be Grace Petrie’s sell out hometown show in October; Gay Comedy Night as part of LCF; and the Radio 4 New Comedy Awards heat last month.

Hannah:  A personal highlight has to be the amazing response to Rough Draft, the new works night I’ve helped put together with some fellow Leicester creatives.  We’ve got such a variety of artists submitting and a good regular crowd that is growing, it’s really lovely to see the support and creativity of our city.

Coming soon: Cirque du Y – The fundraiser with a twist

We will be holding a circus and burlesque themed extravaganza, featuring a variety of local talent on Friday 13th September. The evening will also feature live music from three Leicester bands. The event will be supported by great local businesses including; Gallagher, Westerby Group and RSM UK.

Our guests will be dazzled by the theatrical burlesque style of SkyTribe and enthralled by the entertaining antics of Foolhardy Circus. The evening will include a; bar, buffet and carnival delights of popcorn and candy floss. The main show will be followed by the sound of local bands; Hard Lines, The Veneers and Fourteen Down.

“We’ve had fantastic support from local businesses both sponsoring and booking tables for the event. We’re really excited to be hosting an evening that brings people together to raises funds for youth homelessness and also showcases The Y Theatre, Leicester’s oldest surviving theatre.” Emma Knight, Fundraising and Communications Manager at The Y.


Sitting down with…Dave Johns

Who are you and what do you do?
I’m Dave Johns, I’ve been a comedian for three decades, from stand-up to improv.  You might recognise me from Ken Loach’s I, Daniel Blake, the feel-good comedy Fisherman’s Friends, as well as Never Mind the Buzzcocks (BBC), 8 Out of Ten Cats (Channel 4), Alan Davies As Yet Untitled (Dave) and The Footballs On (BT Sport).

What are you bringing to The Y Theatre?
I’m bringing my hit one-man stand-up show From Byker to BAFTAs.  It sold out in Edinburgh and at Soho Theatre so seems to be a bit good.

If you could be on stage with anyone, who would it be and why?
YOU!  The person reading this!  Or Elvis

What are you watching?
I’m watching my iPad as i type this, but if your asking about tv I’m watching the box set of Peaky Blinders the last season.

Name one thing you can’t live without and why
Oxygen. Also HOPE and I hope you come to see my show as I promise you will have some laughs

Name one thing you really hate and why
I hate roundabouts with traffic lights on them.  Pointless!  Comedian Phil Nicol hates them too, that’s why we are the best of friends

Describe your show with one GIF —->

Why should people come and see your show?
I guarantee that you will piss yourself laughing. thousands of people have seen it already. And that’s what happens when they leave the theatre you can see wee on their pants and dresses….
It’s just a good fun 80 minute show. Come along we will have great fun. What better thing can one do than laugh in a room full of people, it makes you feel good. Don’t believe, watch me make 10,000 people do just that, follow this link at Newcastle Arena

See Dave Johns at The Y Theatre with Byker to BAFTAs on Friday 6 September.

Enabling Environments

On Tuesday 30th of July, Forensic Psychologist and Enabling Environment Lead; Ronald Woodward delivered training to staff from across the Shine Project as we all prepare to start the journey to becoming ‘Enabling Environments’ and earning the Enabling Enviroments Award.

The Royal College of Psychiatrists have put together this training and accreditation based on ten values, all of which are believed to be factors in positive psycho-social environments and therefore making an environment enabling.

YMCA; Burton, Lincolnshire, North Staffordshire, Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham, Wellington and Leicester will identify opportunities for improving our offer to staff and residents and implement changes ensuring we keep relationships between staff and residents at the centre of our work.

Many thanks to Ronald for an interesting day which has left us with lots of food for thought! We are all very much looking forward to working towards and achieving the Enabling Environments Award.

Watch this space!