Parkwood takes the reins of North Devon’s theatres

View of Ilfracombe

Posted on: 28 April 2017

The contracts have been signed and ‘the show will go on’ at North Devon’s theatres.

North Devon Council today confirms that the Queen’s Theatre in Barnstaple and Landmark in Ilfracombe will soon be back in action, as a contract with Parkwood theatres has now been signed and the company will take over the operation of both theatres on Monday 1 May.

Parkwood’s contract is only a temporary, 12 month arrangement, keeping the theatres ‘ticking over’ while the council prepares and tenders a long term operating contract going forward. There is plenty to do at both theatres behind the scenes, as although they’ve only been closed for three months, there is a bit of preparation to do before they will be publicly accessible.

The Landmark Theatre will be used as a polling station on Thursday 4 May for the Devon County Elections and then the Queen’s Theatre will open to the public at the end of May for a locally produced production of the musical ‘Hairspray’. Parkwood has been meeting numerous local organisations over the last few weeks and are putting together a calendar of community events and shows at both theatres. They will also be launching a programme of exciting, commercial shows from September onwards at the Queen’s Theatre. As there are no guarantees for Parkwood beyond the 12 month period, they are taking a more cautious approach to commercial programming at the Landmark, but in the short-term the building will be available for community events.

Spokesman for Parkwood, Tony Doherty, says: “The Queen’s Theatre is a standard theatre size and model, so it’s easier for us to confidently programme for a facility we’re familiar with. The Landmark is a more unusual venue, so although we see plenty of potential long term, we need to get to know the facility and take a more cautious approach to programming there. That said, we’re very confident there will be plenty of activity at both theatres this year.”

Contracts Delivery Manager at North Devon Council, Mark Kentell, says: “We are delighted the theatres are back up and running and would like to thank the community for its support and understanding during the recent difficulties. Although the programme of events for the coming year will probably be less than people are used to seeing, this will only be in the short term. Today’s news is something to be really happy about – the theatres are both about to reopen and their future is secure.”

More news and information on forthcoming shows and events will be available over the next few weeks.

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