I shall start with some notes for your diary.
Next Thursday, January 15th, we have our first lunch of 2009 and this will be at Casa Rustica in 'Fish Alley'. We've been there before and had a few cast parties there too and never been anything other than pleased.
After that we have a lunch planned for February 5th and again on March 5th. We have got to go back to the drawing board on venues as the restaurants we had thought to use are no longer available.
On February 19th Gina has organised a visit to Estepa (yes I know we said we'd go there before Christmas but we had a very pleasant trip to Rute instead). The main attractions are a visit to an asparagus farm - bit different that- and chocolate is involved somewhere. Not necessarily with the asparagus but I haven't looked at my Jamie Oliver recently so anything is possible.
Then the March trip is called 'Springtime in Andalucia' quite the most beautiful time to see our new homeland. Previous trips on the same sort of theme have involved stops for local produce and tastings to add a real interest to the day.
More details will be available on the desk on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and you can book at the same time. Each trip is 30 euros which includes the breakfast stop and lunch.
Now our main purpose is to raise funds for the theatre and as many of you will know there has been a bit of a crisis this past year. At one time there was some doubt that the theatre would be able to open for 2009 and FOTA has raided our piggy bank and so far 19000 euros has been handed over to SALVA.
Our fundraising has changed emphasis a bit. The events held on the theatre forecourt (book sales, bazaars etc) whilst profitable - the Christmas Bazaar made 340 euros - involves quite a bit of physical work and backs and other bits are protesting so we have moved the main activity to raffles held during busy shows. The raffle during the Christmas show raised 835 euros so thank you to those who bought tickets. The raffle during the panto wasn't quite so successful but we think we will be pleased when the final total is calculated.
Outside fundraising will continue on a limited basis with Helen Young organising another 'Petticoat Lane' for April 18th.
Many people think the theatre makes vast profits but I hope you can see that the contribution made by FOTA members and supporters makes a real difference. The yearly membership is now due (yes I did pay mine last week!) and any encouragement you can give to those who use the theatre and don't want it to go, to join us and join in will be great.
I shall look forward to seeing you on Wednesdays on the forecourt and the desk is open Mondays and Fridays as well.