Theatre boss says stage set for successful future

Elizabeth Adlington
Elizabeth Adlington
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Theatre boss Elizabeth Adlington says the Waterside venue is on track for a long and successful future in Aylesbury.

Mrs Adlington returned to the theatre, subsidised by the taxpayer by nearly £600,000 a year, in March as Area Theatre Manager for the Waterside and New Theatre, Oxford.

Her re-appointment followed the sudden departure of Aylesbury manager Jamie Baskeyfield.

As a rule she spends three days a week based at the Waterside and said: “The company uses one manager across two or even three venues in a lot of places.

“We have a fantastic team of staff in both places. I move around according to need.

“Aylesbury has prestige because it is the newest venue in the portfolio. It is amazing as a venue and a landmark building for the town.”

She said it takes time for a venue of this size to establish itself with audiences and producers, but things are going in the right direction.

She said: “The subsidy that we have is an agreement with the council which is very common with opening a building. We are on track at this moment with our business plan. In 10 years it will be revised.”

Press officer Becky Martin said feedback is sought from audience members after every single show and satisfaction is very high.

Most shows in the auditorium sell extremely well and the live screenings of opera, the National Theatre and comedy club nights in the Second Space are always sold out.

The programme is decided by a central programming team for ATG who use marketing data on the area to chose the shows which will be best received.

Visitors come from a catchment area of 45 minutes travelling time.

Mrs Adlington said: “We aim to reach out to all groups and we are continually going deeper into that.”

She confirmed Friars will remain an important part of the Waterside.

She said many community events take place at the theatre, which are not publicised in the programme because they are private events.

These include Aylesbury Grammar School’s annual cabaret night; the Activate Dance Programme which is an umbrella organisation for 12 community based dance groups; the John Colet liasion group of schools; and the Bucks Federation of Women’s Institutes.