New manager hopes for more diverse audience

VIVYAN Ellacott has left some rather large shoes to fill – but new theatre manager Robert Jackson is confident his different approach will maintain the Kenneth More Theatre’s soaring success.

The 41-year-old, of Walthamstow, has a range of theatre triumphs under his belt and tried acting, directing and teaching before deciding the job at Ilford’s theatre was the starring role for him.

He said the character of the theatre was part of its attraction.

“It isn’t just a shell – it’s got a soul,” he said.

“I’m hoping to maintain it’s tradition, but I also want to be educating people – people who wouldn’t usually go to the theatre.

“It might take a while for people to see the changes I make – we are already fully booked for shows until 2012.”

Robert said he loves all type of theatre and will continue to promote a range of shows at KMT.

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He adds that he hopes the theatre’s audience will quickly come to reflect the borough’s multi-ethnic community and is particularly keen for Asian performance groups to come on board.

Encouraging more young people to flock to shows is also high on his list. “It’s incredibly important to do this,” he said.

“The theatre belongs to the people of Redbridge. My job is to make sure it’s serving them in the best possible way.”

For Robert, theatre is more than just a job.

“Finding drama and performing actually changed where I was going in life.

“I was the shy kid in the corner who wouldn’t say boo to a goose and then all of a sudden I got the stage bug.

“That’s why I’m really positive about children getting involved [in theatre]. I know the effects it can have on a person.”

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