As the Cracked Actors Theatre’s (CAT’s) Artistic Director, Matthew Richard Walsh despaired over the theatre company’s future last week he received surprise call from Mr. Josh Burns (MP), the Federal Member for Macnamara.
He was ringing with simple but welcome message. He said, “We hear you. We know you’re hurting. In times like these we know that Arts related businesses are the first to go down and the last to come up. I’ll be fighting hard to make sure they don’t go down in my electorate”.
Mr Burn’s has previously stated the importance he places in the Arts and Arts venues and is on record as saying, “In Macnamara, 11% of the workforce is employed in cultural and creative occupations, over 6% higher than the national average”.
For the CAT team the MP’s call has been inspirational and reinforced their belief in the company’s mission to “provide a platform for upcoming performers as well as employment for existing artists”. The Federal Parliamentarian was helping to prepare Passover dinner for his family when he decided to ring.
Matthew Richard Walsh said the call came at just the right time. “To receive a personal call from an MP during such an unprecedented time in our history, reinforced the importance of artistic endeavour as well as our own determination. We steer clear of partisan politics. We vote for theatre, but we welcome any politician who goes into bat for the Arts. Mr Burns takes that to the next level. He was there for us on our opening night and he is there for us now, so it shows he is ready to fight for us in good times and in bad. For him to call over the Passover/Easter period made it even more special”.
The CAT remain hopeful that the State and Federal Governments will be able to assist them continue to subsidise artists bring their dreams to fruition through live performance.
Since opening on December 15, 2019 they have featured over fifty performers as well as new works by sixteen writers. They are currently selling tickets for future shows through “Feed the CAT – Keep Cracked Actors Theatre Alive” and have offered comedians, out of pocket because of the MICF cancellation, the chance to perform in their venue as part of “Cracked Actors Comic Relief 2020”.
Audience and artists can rest assured that the CAT will continue to fight for its survival. Regular CAT performer Greg Fleet said “These cats are so cool. They really care about artists (and humans in general). It is beautiful to see such positivity in action. Seriously. Get behind them. The arts are like that song, “You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone”.
You can “Feed the CAT” at https://www.trybooking.com/eventlist/cat
Images: Greg Bachurski.