Thursday, 25 April 2019

I’m optimistic about theatre’s future, says new chairman

I’m optimistic about theatre’s future, says new chairman

A NEW chairman of trustees at the Kenton Theatre in Henley has been elected.

Chris Tapp takes over from acting chairman Cliff Colborne following a unanimous vote at the annual meeting.

Mr Tapp, 57, who lives in Bix and runs an architecture practice, joined the Kenton board in the early 2000s.

He said: “I’ve had a longstanding involvement with the theatre and know the building as well as anyone.

“I’m therefore delighted to put that knowledge to use once again and hope to be able to help steer the Kenton through a few more years of its ongoing success.”

Mr Tapp acted on behalf of the New Street venue when he designed and managed the wings extension and was also responsible for the design and build of the Henley Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society’s studio next door.

Since he first joined the board, he has provided detailed reports on the upkeep and maintenance of the building as well as involving himself in specific projects, such as fire safety. 

Mr Tapp said: “I feel we have a great team both on the board of trustees and in the theatre, including all our wonderful volunteers, and I feel very optimistic about the year ahead and the future of the Kenton.

“Our audience numbers are increasing and so is the reputation of the theatre.

“We look forward to working with all the local groups who are so important to us as well as the regular bookings, new performers and, hopefully, old and new audience members.”

At the meeting, Mr Colbourne thanked the membership for their support and the board for its hard work over the past year.

He also paid tribute to Bryan Villars who retired as treasurer after almost 50 years.

Mr Colbourne also gave a detailed assessment of the previous year’s events and issues, including ongoing maintenance of the theatre and building projects.

Paula Price-Davies, the Kenton’s general manager, reported on new partnerships and audience numbers.

The new articles of association were approved by the membership and Judith Terry, Heather Simpkin and Darrel Poulos were elected to the board.

Meanwhile, at the new board’s first meeting Linda Wallace was unanimously elected secretary.

She has served as a volunteer since her retirement as director of policy and professional services at the British Dental Association and was acting secretary.

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