We caught up with Punch Maughan just before the weekend, we asked her some questions about her time at Theatr Brycheiniog and ‘found’ out what she is up to now…
Punch worked as the Friends and Patrons Coordinator and Visual Arts Coordinator in our amazing theatre and gallery, and is now running her own gallery!
Check out the Q & A’s
Can you introduce yourself and briefly describe all your past involvement with the theatre?
My name is Punch Maughan and I came to take up a voluntary role at Theatr Brycheiniog in 2016 following my family’s move into Brecon and having stood down from the various tourism roles that I had held up until then. My first task was to look at the original Friends of the theatre scheme to understand how that had worked and to then develop a new Friends and Patrons scheme. In 2017 I was offered a part time role as the Visual Arts Coordinator for The Andrew Lamont Gallery on the top floor.
How long did you have involvement via the friends and patrons scheme for? What was your favourite part?
I was the Friends and Patrons Coordinator for two years and met some remarkable people who loved and wanted to support the theatre for many different reasons. I enjoyed every aspect of the role and found the ‘behind the scenes’ events that we hosted particularly enjoyable. With the help of other staff we were able to show people how ‘backstage’ worked – from the sound engineers role, to lighting, the gantries – how the auditorium could be flat floored. None of us knew how lucky Brecon was to have such a remarkable asset as our theatre.
Why would you encourage people to sign up for the friends and patrons scheme?
I, along with the senior management team at the theatre were very keen to recruit Friends and Patrons. The aim was, of course, to raise money for the theatre but just as importantly to get to know the theatre’s audience better. The Patrons particularly acted as a sounding board for new ideas in terms of programming and to help gauge opinion on ways forward for the theatre. The offer included free parking in the carpark, a discount on tickets and purchases at the bar as well as regular newsletters and early bird offers. For the Patron’s, as mentioned above, we had behind the scenes tours as well as regular coffee mornings and seasonal events before or after certain shows.
Can you tell us more about your involvement with the theatre gallery? What was your favourite part?
As Visual Arts Coordinator I scheduled a changing exhibition programme in the gallery. I held this position, along with the Friends and Patrons role, until late summer 2019. Exhibitions ranged from contemporary art – either solo shows or group exhibitions to photography – with stand out ones here being of the local farming community from the west of the National Park to a remarkable solo show of a prestigious rally photographer which we combined with a series of events both for adults and children. As Visual Arts Coordinator I also helped run the Promart competition with Brecon Town Band for two years in a row and in May 2018 we hosted a remarkable digital art exhibition with a series of community workshops. I got to meet the Zulu king when we programmed an exhibition of art work created to celebrate a previous ‘Zulu’ visit and I was also proud to programme two weeks of events both in and from the theatre for Brecon Women’s Festival in 2018.
What is it about the arts that you love so much?
I have always loved the arts in every medium – my father worked all over the world and always brought pictures and artefacts back from his travels, he dragged us to galleries as children but I now join him with pleasure. My sister is a musician, classically trained but now on the Folk Roots circuit so I have always loved music gigs and concerts of different genres. I enjoyed amateur dramatics at school, I worked for two opera singers and then an art dealer when I first lived in London so my experiences have been many and varied. I have felt very lucky to have live theatre in my home town. I can’t wait for it to re-open.
What was the last show you watched in Theatr Brycheiniog?
Goodness, not sure I can remember what was the LAST show that I watched but the most recent ones I remember were some of the National Theatre live screenings, the play about Nye & Jenny and the great Welsh band Calan having the time of their lives on stage!
Can you tell us more about what you are up to now and your own gallery?
In July 2019 I opened my own gallery, Found, in the middle of town where we host different artist and makers in different exhibitions. In normal times we also host talks and small events that compliment the exhibition. I am one of the steering group members of the Brecon Cultural & Heritage Network – committed to talking about & sharing the town’s cultural assets for the community and visitors. I am also one of the founder members of Brecon Buzz which is a Community Interest Company hoping to encourage positive projects in Brecon. I have just joined a new committee for The Chamber of Trade.
What great answers! Thank you Punch Maughan.
Check out the amazing Found gallery owned by Punch Maughan by clicking here.