Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Margates Theatre Royal update
News that the Theatre Royal is recruiting a couple of directors for the theatre (artistic and executive), @ 30-35K per annum, will no doubt be greeted with much excitement here in Thanet.
How and why the Theatre Royal, got into its current situation is sadly history, the fact is the local council are now in the driving seat, and will run the establishment as they see fit.

This Theatre has struggled ever since 1988 when Mr Jolyon Jackley purchased the theatre and refurbished the building with Margate Theatre Royal Trust taking over in the early nineties. Given the lack of support from local government, Margate Theatre Royal Trust have done a remarkable job operating the theatre for so long.

Now I spoke with Heather Sawney, the council's Arts and Development Officer, since we rarely hear the other side. Now as you know, I'm just an occasional blogger, so I won't give you a verbatim report of our conversation, since my memory is crap, however although as I understand Heather has been in her post for only a few months, she does have strong connections with this area and is every bit as passionate about the future of the theatre as any of the past management. Since it's a done deal, as far as Thanet councils ownership of Theatre is concerned,maybe it's now time to give a little space. Apart from the Theatre Royal I understand that Heather, has also been responsible in part with breathing life into the Tudor House in Margate, with open days and last year's Christmas opening, the house being keep decorated in traditional Tudor's style, incidentally I understand there will be some event at the Tudor House in June.

Obviously the recent events concerning the Theatre Royal Margate, have been traumatic, not least for those, who worked so hard over the years, and had the Theatre Royal Margate been given funding on a similar scale to that of the Marlowe in Canterbury then Margate Theatre Royal Trust would probably still be in control.

Maybe the community model will work out, assuming that those of us who like professional entertainment, will also be catered for, so like the Turner centre, we just have to hope its successful.


  1. But Tony, the Council only purchased the building and leased it back to the Theatre Royal Trust, who are still supposed to be in charge, not Ms Sawney. Did she give you the immpression that she and the Council are running it?

  2. Well since if you wish to apply for the job you're invited phone or contact Heather for an informal chat, It does rather give the impression that they are in the driving seat.

    Quote from the AD "For an informal discussion please contact Heather Sawney, Arts Development Officer 01843 577428, or Robert Sanderson, Interim Executive Director, 01843 577003

  3. On reflection it does seem odd that the council are directly involved but I would imagine they have probably appointed themselves to the Theatre Trust

  4. To the anonymous contributor you're posting made 9:48am, was both offensive and probably libellous.

    Up to now I've only removed, postings which contained death threats to myself or advertising links.

    I've no problem with anonymous contributions, but won't allow, subjective and offensive remarks particularly when they're clearly libellous.

    I also remind the particular contributor, that it may be possible to trace the origin of your message.