The new Chair of an Amble based theatre company has had a baptism of fire thanks to a combination of COVID restrictions and the devastating effects of Storm Arwen.
However, her wealth of experience in business and the arts is already having positive results and the company is looking forward to a bright future.
The Northumberland Theatre Company (NTC) based in Amble’s Dovecote Centre is a self-funding professional small-scale touring theatre company which has firmly established itself as a part of the community. New Chair Sue Wilson CBE is no stranger to the company as she held the same position as Chair more than 25 years ago.
“This is a great theatre company and I’m delighted to be able to get involved once again despite the effects of Covid and a terrible storm which has caused devastation to the building. We have a lot to do in very trying circumstances, but we have a great team, wonderful community support and a willingness to make things happen.”
The company is in safe hands with Sue’s vast experience in business. After 20 years in top engineering roles at Ford Motor Company and Vickers Defence Systems, she became Chief Executive of development organisation the Newcastle Initiative. She has served as a non-executive board member of a wealth of organisations including HMRC, the Newcastle Hospitals Trust, Northumbria University, One NorthEast, and the Baltic Contemporary Art Gallery.
“From an early age, I’ve always loved theatre. I’m currently on the board of Live Theatre in Newcastle and I’ve been a trustee of several arts organisations. I particularly love what Northumberland Theatre Company does because it takes high quality theatre to local venues in rural communities engaging people who perhaps wouldn’t normally travel many miles to get to a big city or town to watch a performance,” she said.
Sue has a number of priorities to work on including the renovation and repair of the Dovecote Centre which was severely damaged during Storm Arwen. The building work has started but it has created additional problems as the facilities in the centre are inaccessible due to health and safety regulations.
“We’d love to hear from any organisation in or around Amble who could perhaps offer us a meeting room for up to 10 people every couple of weeks so that we can hold staff meetings, script read throughs and planning sessions. We would also love to hear from potential new Trustees – particularly young people with skills we can use either in administration, education or on the creative side. It’s a very challenging time for us but we know that there are good people out there who can help to bring back quality theatre to the town and beyond.”
The theatre company is already planning several new shows as Artistic Director Louis Roberts explains:
“In May we are touring with “Northumbrian Ghost Stories” written by Stewart Howson, then in the Autumn we will be touring with William Shakespeare’s “Macbeth” before starting two projects at Christmas. Leading up to the festive season, we will be touring a production of Wind in the Willows and at the Dovecote Centre we will have our panto, Cinderella which was postponed last year.”
Anyone wishing to find out more about being a trustee can contact Louis via the website www.northumberlandtheatre.co.uk
To help with funding for essential repairs to the building please see the Just Giving page: www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/ntc-dovecote-repairs