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Newsletter Feb 2020

Spring in the Air
As we move out of Winter, our new diary has been delivered across the Island to set out the exciting range of events that St James is presenting between now and the end of June. You should have received your diary already, but if you need additional copies these are available from our Box Office at St James and the full event details are also available from the website at www.stjames.gg.
Our programme of comedy events continues with two Big Comedy Nights Out, featuring Andrew Maxwell and Justin Moorhouse in April and Reginald D Hunter in June. Recent comedy nights have been a sell out so do book your tickets early.

Complementing the big comedy events we have also established the St James Comedy Club, which is set in the more intimate surroundings of our Dorey Room. In this Diary we are featuring Matt Read in March and Michael Fabbri in May. As seating is limited, do come early to claim a good seat.

There is a range of live music to appeal to all tastes, which are being presented with generous support from Raven Russia, and our classical events continue with support from Credit Suisse, Julius Baer, the BWCI Group and the Swallow 2018 Charitable Trust. We are very appreciative of this sponsorship without which it would be very difficult to present these concerts. To encourage our sponsors to continue their sponsorship, and hence to ensure that these events can continue, please do come along to as many of these events as you can, and bring your friends and family. The St James Blog on our website includes reviews of some recent remarkable performances and we hope that you will be equally impressed at the excellence of these upcoming events.

Priority booking for Friends of St James has now opened for the Shakespeare Globe Touring Company for their visit in July and general booking will open shortly. This year we have three very popular Shakespeare plays, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, “As You Like It” and “The Tempest”. We are very grateful for sponsorship from the BWCI Group, the

Guernsey Arts Commission and the Red Carnation Hotel Group to enable us to stage this series of plays. As last year, while the Wednesday to Friday performances will be as advertised with conventional seating, the Saturday evening play will be chosen by the audience, who will be free to mingle around St James and may be surprised by the actors appearing among them. The play generating the loudest shouts will be chosen and the actors will immediately revert to their roles and start that play, thus giving extra frisson to the players and audience alike.

Guernsey Literary Festival
We are pleased once more to be hosting many of the key events of the Guernsey Literary Festival this Spring. Between Wednesday 29th April when we host the poet Laureate, Simon Armitage, to Sunday 3rd May, when we host the former Archbishop of Canterbury’s special envoy, Terry Waite, there is a wide variety of stimulating and provocative speakers to hear at St James and authors to sign books. Tickets, however, are not available from St James but only through the Guernsey Literary Festival box office or from their website on guernseyliteraryfestival.com

Renovations
The major renovation work to cure the damp problem which has disfigured the plasterwork, particularly on the east gable and the northern wall at gallery level, is now well under away and is running to schedule. Scaffolding has been erected around much of the outside of St James, as well as inside, where a polythene screen has been erected to seal in all the dust and builders debris, so that the main Hall can continue to be used. By the time of the publication of this Newsletter, the dustiest work of removing all the damaged plaster from the inside of St James should have been completed, which will then enable the renovation work to commence.

We are pleased that all our events have been able to continue without interruption, as a result of good planning and coordination between the contractors and our in-house team.
At present we expect the work to be complete by the end of June and we will give an update in our next Newsletter.

Staff Changes
At the end of February we bid farewell to Sarah Evanson, our bookkeeper, and we wish her well in her new position. Sarah was a key member of our office team but was also willing to help out in the cafe as needed, a job which she obviously enjoyed so well that she ended up marrying our café manager, John Evanson! In order to provide greater security of coverage going forward we have decided to outsource this function and are in the process of finalising an outsourcing contract. We have also said goodbye to Sue Baker, our cleaner, and have appointed outsourced cleaners in order to provide greater flexibility and continuity of cover. We are grateful to both Sarah’s and Sue’s contributions within the team at St James.

BE PART OF IT
We are grateful to our loyal band of volunteer duty managers and stewards, without whom we would not be able to run many of our events, especially in the evenings and at weekends. However we are now looking to increase their numbers in order to support more events and to spread the load more evenly. This is a great way to enjoy events which you might otherwise have missed, while helping to support
St James.

Since our previous Newsletter we have been pleased to welcome some new volunteers, but we still have space for more! There are no fixed requirements and no prior experience is needed as full training will be given. If you are interested in learning more, please contact Fiona Malley on 711360 or by email at fiona@stjames.gg.

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