Kate vs Showbiz – Chapter 33

Ash continued, “Look. You want to save the theatre and so do I. Not just because I love a live show, but because they do a lot of good work with the community. My mother-in-law will kill me if some of her social groups have to find a new home because the place has closed down.”

Switching on the projector, Tracey’s spreadsheet lit up the wall. “That’s going to be easier said than done. As you say, we are up errr, a creek.”

Ash looked at the numbers for a moment. “Hmmm. The problem isn’t perhaps as bad as you think. Quite a lot of the Councillors don’t want to rock the boat. At the moment, the place is losing enough money that closing it looks like an easy option. You’ve managed to make things a bit better, but we’re not quite there.”

What do you mean?”

Look, we have the oversight committee meeting in a month. Most of those there will be happy to sit on their hands if we can persuade them that things are going in the right direction. Remember, these people don’t like making decisions. We just need to persuade them to leave things alone and let everyone get on with their jobs.”

Gareth spluttered, “You mean bamboozle them?”

Ash smiled again. “A bit. What we need is a few successes and then they can wave next year’s budget through and go home to their families after a few drinks in the bar, safe in the knowledge that they are looking after the best interests of their constituents.”

But what about Councillor Osbourne?” asked Tracey

Geoff is trying to make himself a bit of a name. He fancies being Council leader next year. I think his wife has told him it’s time for some ambition. He sees this as an easy way to show his credentials as a great leader. Be a bit Thatcher if you see what I mean.”

So this is all about him getting a better job?”

Sort of. I think it’s actually about him getting a better seat at the golf club annual dinner, but yes, he doesn’t like the theatre much, so he can’t see why the town needs one.”

Tracey looked at the screen. Was all this really a waste of time? “We just need to persuade one man?”

Possibly. I don’t think you will though. He’s got a bit fixated on this but he can’t do anything on his own. There needs to be a majority on the committee and as I say, most of them are only going along with this to keep him happy. If a few decided to change their minds, or at least develop some ideas of their own, we’d be home and dry.”

Right”, she tried to sound confident but wasn’t really sure what was going on, “So how do we do that?”

Ash turned to face her. “Well, the problem is that Freddie has been relying on the panto each year to save him. The rest of the time, the numbers look poor. It’s time to inject a bit of showbiz razzmatazz into the place. We need to get some bums on seats with something different. I’m sure the figures can be massaged a little and if we can bring out just one big gun, then the committee can get off early that night.”

So we just need one sure-fire hit. Where do we find one of those from?”

Ash laughed. “Ah well. That’s your problem. I’m just an accountant.”


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