Don't miss a story sign up to the North Devon Gazette's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

North Devon theatre chief steps down

15:23 29 January 2014

Alan Giddings is retiring as chief executive of North Devon Theatres Trust.

Alan Giddings is retiring as chief executive of North Devon Theatres Trust.

Archant

Curtain falls on long career running theatres in Barnstaple and Ilfracombe.

Alan Giddings is retiring as chief executive of North Devon Theatres Trust.Alan Giddings is retiring as chief executive of North Devon Theatres Trust.

ALAN Giddings has announced that he is stepping down as chief executive of North Devon Theatres’ Trust.

Mr Giddings is retiring on Friday after 14 years at the helm of the Queen’s Theatre in Barnstaple and the Landmark Theatre in Ilfracombe, as well as the Museum of Barnstaple and North Devon in Barnstaple.

The trust is not appointing a new chief executive, although programme director Alan Dodd will become director of the theatres.

Mr Giddings said running the theatres had been a ‘real privilege’.

He said: “I shall really miss it; when I was asked to take on the job of running the refurbished Queen’s Theatre and the newly-built Landmark all those years ago, little did I know how all-consuming it would be.

“I knew the area reasonably well from visiting on holiday since the 1970s and having relatives in the county, but it takes time to get to know an area really well and in my village I’m still regarded as an incomer.

“From the start, we wanted to create an organisation that would engage with the local communities in the area, bringing them shows they wanted to see and also a range of other arts and entertainment events that they didn’t know they wanted until they tried them, and enjoyed them.”

Mr Giddings said there had been a number of highlights down the years although community World War II musical Kisses on a Postcard, had been a particularly poignant moment.

“Another brief mention should also go to the North Devon Festival, which at its height with over 800 events across the region really put North Devon on the national cultural map,” he added.

“It’s so important in one of the more remote rural areas like North Devon that communities are given opportunities in the arts, to experience them, to participate and to learn.

“But all these things are only possible because of two key elements: strong financial support, which in our case has been from North Devon Council and the Arts Council, and of course the businesses and people of North Devon.

“No commercial theatre can do what we can do, because as a charity all proceeds are re-invested into programme and learning projects which means that everything stays in our area to benefit the people.

“And the second major element is the theatres’ staff. Our brilliant team are truly remarkable, catching everything that is thrown at them with a skill and adroitness that puts many bigger theatre organisations to shame.

“Yes, there will be challenges ahead in these financially testing times, but I’m sure that North Devon Theatres will continue to push on, lead by my replacement Alan Dodd and the rest of the staff.

“My thanks go to them and to all the trustees over the years who have been so supportive, and of course to the good people of North Devon.”

0 comments

Other News Stories

Pupils at St Helen’s school in Abbotsham have been learning about road safety in the Honest Truth campaign with police and the fire service.

Read more
Yesterday, 18:00

Plans are going on show tomorrow (Saturday) for new holiday units at Knapp House in Northam.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:35

Can you top Kevin’s Christmas lights spectacular?

Read more
Yesterday, 15:53

Outline plans show access road to new development will run through ‘enhanced’ play area

Read more
Yesterday, 11:00

Motions to pause reviews which could jeopardise services at North Devon District Hospital and to ensure fair funding for services were unanimously passed at County Hall on Thursday.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:23

This year New Year’s Eve revellers in Bideford can expect to celebrate music through the decades on December 31.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:16

The singer-songwriter wrote a touching tribute to Mr Collins, who died on Saturday

Read more
Yesterday, 08:56

Bideford’s brand new Starbucks coffee shop is opening at Atlantic Park in Clovelly Road on Monday.

Read more
Thu, 15:09

Readers have been expressing both joy and frustration at Roundswell plans which include a new Costa Coffee, Aldi and Marston’s pub.

Read more
Thu, 14:57

The brand new store in Clovelly Road has created 40 new jobs in Bideford.

Read more

Local Weather

Rain

Rain

max temp: 11°C

min temp: 4°C

Most Read News

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
North Devon Football League
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the North Devon Gazette e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Local business directory

North Devon's trusted business finder

Find planning applications