Old Vic Chair-in-waiting, Dick Penny, told a rapt audience last Thursday that “you must balance how much you can spend on stage with how much you earn from the seats”.
Indeed. So does Dick practice what he preaches in his day job as director of the Watershed then? Er not quite. The cinema spent a little more than £3m last year of which just £1.8m came in earnings from seats (and from the bar, food and other trading activities) . The remaining £1.2m – 40% of the running costs – was contributed by the tax payer through various grants.
Penny also told the audience that he would have plenty of time to dedicate to his new role as Old Vic theatre supremo because “the Watershed almost runs itself.”
No surprise there. No doubt we could all have businesses that “almost run themselves” if 40% of their income was handed to them by the government.