Friday, 22 October 2021

Theatre manager steps down

THE Kenton Theatre in Henley has undergone a major shakeup after one of the managers left his role.

Tom Ryan was appointed in April last year but has quit to focus on the Henley Literary Festival, which he has helped run with his mother Sue for six years.

He had been running the theatre in New Street alongside Paula Price-Davies after they took over the role formerly held by Zsuzsi Lindsay.

Mr Ryan will be replaced by Sam Shepherd, a former music journalist.

Mr Shepherd, 42, who lives in Woodcote and has spent 20 years working in publishing, said: “I knew a bit about the theatre but not lots. I came across it thanks to the literary festival and it’s the best kept secret. Part of my remit is to make people like myself happen across what they have.

“Lots is changing at the Kenton, we have a new website and will be using social media to push shows. We are hoping to expand the programme to make it more diverse and get more people involved.”

Ms Price-Davies has also left her job as events manager for Henley Town Council to concentrate on the theatre.

She had been in the role for five years and was involved in organising events including the annual Christmas Festival and civic functions.

Ms Price-Davies, who has worked in events and arts administration for more than 15 years, said: “Over the five years I’ve been here I’ve had enormous support from all the councillors and a great team within the town hall.

“This is a way of me moving the theatre forward and lifting it as a community aspect and venue that serves all areas of the community.”

Ms Price-Davies held a drinks party for friends and colleagues at Hotel du Vin in New Street yesterday (Thursday).

Ms Lindsay began work at the Kenton in September 2016 but announced in January 2017 that she would be stepping down.

Mr Ryan, of River Terrace, and Ms Price-Davies, of Bell Street, Henley, pitched the idea of a job share when the role was advertised.

Mr Ryan was not available for comment.

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