Penarth Opera and Drama Society (PODS) – which has always run the bar at the Paget Rooms when it’s booked the venue for its performances – is understood to have been told that, from now on, Penarth Council will be operating the bar – and trousering the takings.
PODS is staging the pantomime Pinocchio at the Paget Rooms from Thursday December 6th to Sunday December 9th inclusive. [Pinocchio is the children’s story of a toy puppet, transformed into a boy, whose nose grows every time he tells a lie]
Tickets for the pantomime are priced from £10. In the past the bar takings have always been an important for the society and its amateur members in helping meet the cost of each production – including venue hire (paid to the council) , costumes, lighting, copyright fees, and music rights.
However this year PDN sources say that Penarth Town Council has told PODS that the society can no longer run its own bar at the Paget Rooms when they stage shows there.
For groups that have hired the Paget Rooms in the past, that extra bar revenue has often made the difference between covering costs or losing money.
Today the Town Clerk, Emma Boylan, issued the following statement on behalf of Penarth Town Council :-
“This relates to a strategic management decision of the Council to run a fully stocked professional bar service. This decision was taken to improve the services we offer the community but also it ensures that revenue achieved as a result of providing this service could be reinvested into the Paget Rooms so that the future sustainability of the venue is secured for future generations to come. I am sure you would agree this is a positive move.”
“This arrangement is not a unique situation and many venues similar to the Paget Rooms offer this service. I am delighted to advise you that the feedback received from those who have benefited from the bar service the Council offers have complimented the Council on offering a wide range of quality wines, spirits, beers and soft drinks, friendly bar staff, reasonably priced drinks and the knowledge that the bar service is now one less thing for the hirer to think about when organising an event.”
In July this year Owen Money’s production company Rainbow Valley Productions pulled out of a 3-year-deal with the council; to stage pantomimes at the Paget Rooms.
Penarth Town Council had demanded a 40% per cent cut of the box office takings – double the previous rate of 20%.
Since March this year Penarth Town Council has spent £3,804 on “bar supplies” which is £2,554 more than budgeted for the full 12 month. It has set a sales target of £5,000 in bar sales for 2018/19