Con­tract is awarded to run area’s two the­atres

Western Morning News (Saturday) - - Uk And World News -

A new con­tract has been awarded for the op­er­a­tion of North Devon’s the­atres.

North Devon Coun­cil is de­lighted that theatre com­pany Sel­ladoor World­wide will be tak­ing over the op­er­a­tion of both the Queen’s and Land­mark the­atres from Jan­uary 2019.

The an­nounce­ment fol­lows the suc­cess­ful re-ten­der of the the­atres con­tract af­ter a very dif­fi­cult pe­riod for North Devon’s the­atres.

Back in Jan­uary 2017, the the­atres were thrown into dis­ar­ray when North Devon The­atres Trust un­ex­pect­edly an­nounced it was go­ing into ad­min­is­tra­tion and the the­atres had to close.

The clo­sure was short-lived thanks to Park­wood The­atres, which stepped in to run the the­atres for an in­terim pe­riod. Park­wood’s in­ter­ven­tion en­sured that both the­atres re­mained op­er­a­tional while the coun­cil pre­pared and ten­dered a new, long term op­er­a­tional con­tract.

The Queen’s Theatre is now back up and run­ning with a full pro­gramme, while the Land­mark has ticked over with a scaled down pro­gramme of com­mer­cial and com­mu­nity shows.

The coun­cil went out to ten­der for in Au­gust 2018, seek­ing an op­er­a­tor to run both the­atres for ten years and has for­mally awarded the new con­tract to Sel­ladoor World­wide. Sel­ladoor is an in­ter­na­tional, award-win­ning theatre com­pany with a fan­tas­tic rep­u­ta­tion in theatre pro­duc­tion.

Ex­ec­u­tive mem­ber for parks, leisure and cul­ture, Coun­cil­lor Dick Jones says: “The fu­ture is look­ing very bright for our the­atres for the next ten years and be­yond.

“We are very ex­cited about the grand open­ing event at the Land­mark in March, where fans of Sir Ian McKellen have the chance of en­ter­ing a bal­lot to see his one man show, it’s go­ing to be a fan­tas­tic start to The Land­mark’s pro­gramme.”

North Devon Coun­cil’s con­tracts de­liv­ery man­ager, Mark Ken­tell, said: “We would like to thank Park­wood for ev­ery­thing they’ve done since tak­ing the the­atres on in 2017 in very dif­fi­cult cir­cum­stances. With Park­wood’s help we were able to reopen the the­atres as soon as pos­si­ble af­ter the clo­sure, min­imis­ing any long term dam­age to the fu­ture op­er­a­tion of the the­atres.

“Park­wood has brought some bril­liant acts to Barn­sta­ple and Il­fra­combe dur­ing their time at our the­atres and still have an ex­cel­lent pro­gramme run­ning from now through to Jan­uary 11, 2019.”

Phillip Rown­tree, of Sel­ladoor World­wide said: “Over the last ten years of pro­duc­ing in the­atres of all scales and sizes, in the UK and around the world, Sel­ladoor has al­ways been acutely aware of the im­por­tance of lo­cal the­atres in the re­gional land­scape.

“We could not be more hum­bled by the trust vested in us by the Coun­cil and peo­ple of North Devon, nor could we be more ex­cited by this thrilling new chap­ter in Sel­ladoor’s life. We can­not wait to be­gin de­liv­er­ing our vi­sion for the the­atres to the com­mu­ni­ties in Il­fra­combe and Barn­sta­ple.”

The cur­rent pro­gramme in­cludes this year’s Christ­mas Pan­tomime Pe­ter Pan, star­ring EastEn­ders vil­lain Nasty Nick (John Alt­man) as Cap­tain Hook.

Theatre com­pany Sel­ladoor World­wide will be tak­ing over the op­er­a­tion of both the Queen’s (above) and Land­mark the­atres

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