When the leading Utrecht theatre company Schweigman& welcomed the audience to the UK premiere of their performance of For The Time Being at Milton Keynes Theatre it quickly became clear that things were going to be a little bit different.
So what was different? Well, it is the first time Milton Keynes Theatre has participated as a venue in the IF Milton Keynes International Festival 2018 programme and it is the first time ever that not only the actors but also the audience were onstage during a performance. As Chris, a member of the audience said afterwards: “Wow! That was an exhilarating explosion of human energy. And it was made all the more exciting by being in a brilliantly conceived and well-organised performance space.” It also only happened because of a collaboration between Milton Keynes Theatre and Urban Planners, David Lock Associates.
These days business sponsorship is a vital source of funding for many in the arts. But it’s a win-win situation. When business and the arts work together everybody benefits. As audience member Fi said: “I think business sponsorship gives arts’ groups chances to do things that they might not otherwise be able to do and it gives people like us the chance to come and see different things. And I think it’s good to see businesses putting something back into the community.”
As for David Lock Associates, the relationship with Milton Keynes Theatre has gained all round audience approval. Design Director Will Cousins says: “David Lock Associates have had a long association with the theatre in Milton Keynes and it was a pleasure to be able to support this exciting and creative production as part of the International Festival. ‘For The Time Being’ perhaps captures what is great about the new city of MK; always something new, surprising, challenging and creative.
“The cultural landscape of Milton Keynes goes from strength to strength with each edition of IF and our staff and clients value the investment being made by the arts and cultural institutions across MK. DLA is delighted to play its part and is as committed as ever to provide support to the arts in MK. Whether it’s IF, or regular theatre programming we value our partnership with Ambassadors Theatre Group and the team at MK Theatre.”
A partnership between business and the arts brings added value to the arts event as well as genuine business benefits to the sponsor. And, just like the Schweigman & performance sponsored by David Lock Associates at Milton Keynes Theatre, when business and the arts get together, exciting things happen.