Exciting future for North Devon’s theatres

Posted on: 29 November 2018

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, who 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 isnow back up and running with a full programme, whilst 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 10 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 10 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, says: “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 11 January 2019.”

Phillip Rowntree, CFO Selladoor Worldwide says, “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 Jasper Carrot, Alistair McGowan and of course this year’s Christmas Pantomime “Peter Pan”, starring EastEnders villain “Nasty Nick” (John Altman) as Captain Hook. Find out what’s on at www.parkwoodtheatres.co.uk/Queens-Theatre.

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